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Getting Started: The Male Fertility Workup

Male infertility is a lot more common than many believe. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects men and women equally.

If your female partner is under the age of 35 and you have been trying to conceive for one year, or if she is over 35 and you have been trying to conceive for six months, you and your partner should see a physician for a fertility workup.

What Specialist Should You See for a Male Fertility Work-Up?

Many men feel embarrassed about fertility testing, but early testing is vital to diagnosing a potential problem. Your partner’s obstetrician/gynecologist may do the fertility workup or refer you to a fertility doctor, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), which is a physician dedicated to the treatment of fertility issues.

Many couples prefer to be proactive by visiting a fertility doctor at the onset to avoid any further delay in starting a family. A fertility doctor deals with reproductive health and fertility issues on a regular basis, and he or she can identify medical problems that may exist and discuss treatment options that may be appropriate. In addition, you may get a referral to a urologist, a physician dedicated to the area of urology and male reproductive health.

The Initial Visit

Upon your initial visit with the fertility doctor or urologist, he or she will first perform a physical exam as well as a very basic test referred to as semen analysis.

A semen analysis measures the amount of semen produced and determines how many viable sperm are found in the semen. The semen sample may be produced at home or in the physician’s office and then sent to a lab for testing. If the test is “normal,” the doctor will likely confirm the results with a second test. If the test reflects an “abnormal” semen analysis, the physician will likely perform more tests in order to properly diagnose the problem and then work with you to set up an adequate treatment plan that is best for you and your partner.

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Comments (38)

i am 30 years old and married since since 1 year and 6 months , but my wife is unable to conceive i have performed semen analysis test and i am sending you my test result kindly guide me what can be the problem SEMEN ANALYSIS : quantity= 3ml colour= greyish white to pale yellow viscosity= viscid time of liquification= 30 mint ph= 7.5 to 8 fructose = positive SPERM COUNT: total count=38 mill/ml live count=30 mill/ml sperm ejaculate=114 mil MOTILITY %age motile sperms= 79% rapid linear progression= 20% slow/non linear progression=40% non progressive= 40% MORPHOLOGY normal form=50% HEAD ABNORMALITY large oval= 10% small oval=10% amorphous=30% OTHER CELL germ cell=01 wbcs=01 rbcs00 squamous cells=00

i have leakage of sperm during night and it fill my half pant as well so please help me. and tell some treatment

Hello - I am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues. You need to consult with your primary care doctor about this issue immediately or a Urologist to determine the cause and how to treat it. Best of luck!

Dear Sir, I am sharing you my semen analysis report with you and facing low sperm motility also need guidance how to improve it. I m married from last 6 years and having no child till now. Motility analysis: Motile 67% Rapid progressive 32% Slow progressive 27% poor progressive 8% Non forward movement NIL Immotile 33% Morphology Details Normal 53% Abnormal 47% Abnormal heads 31% Abnormal neck 9% Tail defects 7% Your help is required. Many thanks and waiting for your reply

Hi there, Unfortunately, I am not a doctor. You will have to consult your doctor to understand your test results. Good luck!

Jonalyn - it sounds like there is confusion over this situation. Since this happened quite some time ago I think it would be in your partners best interest to consult with a Urologist to discuss his history and past surgery. They can perform a semen analysis to determine if he is producing sperm.

me and my husband been together almost 3yrs. i want to have a baby but my husband cannot produce or he got a low sperm..b4 when not get married at his age 16 he got a operation in his body the doctor cut the vasectomy and put it back or the doctor connect it back..then the doctor said that after 3 yrs. its going back to normal but almost 32 yrs. he cannot give a baby iis their any chance to have a baby?? i really want to have my own child asap...tnx

You need to consult with your doctor to determine a treatment plan that is specific to your diagnosis. I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training to further assist you.

dear i need your help: urgent i did my sperm analysis and the results are : Physical Examination: Test Name Result Volume 2 ML Normal: 2 - 6 ML Colour Grayish White Reaction Alkaline Viscosity Viscid Liquefication Time 1 Hour 10 - 30 Min. Microsopic Examination Motility Progressive 20 % Normal : >60% Non Progressive 30% Non Motile 50 % Total Count 22 M/ml > 20 M/ml Morphology Normal Spermatozoa 40% (N: 70 - 100 %) AbNormal Spermatozoa 60% (N: 0 - 30 %) Pus Cells 2-3 / H.P.F R.B.Cs 1-2 / H.P.F Epithelial Cells Nil / H.P.F Spermatogenic Cells 1-2 / H.P.F Bacteria Nil Others Kindly explain me is every thing normal or not please i'll wait for ur suggestations.

Hi there,

Unfortunately, I am not a doctor. You will have to consult your doctor to understand your test results. Good luck!


Hey. Im 23 years old I have 3 children. Ok m now with someone older that has no children and we want to add to thefamily but not sure he can have children because he has not gotten anyone pregnant. How can we find out if he is able to have children. Please help me out

If you are concerned about his fertility, he should have a semen analysis. It's a quick and easy test. Best, Claire

Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

Hi Jady, Has your wife also consulted a fertility doctor? It might be in your best interest to see a fertility specialist who can address whatever the problem may be as a couple. Please give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or email and we can help you connect with a fertility doctor near you! Best, Kim

My wife and I have been together for over 4 years, and we have been trying to concieve a child for almost 3 1/2 years now. I have 2 sons to two different women from when I was younger and in my teens to early to mid 20's, however I was never tested before recently. My wife had an internal ultrasound done and the Dr. said that her ovaries, cirvics, and tubes were all in great condition, she is now 25 yrs old and I am now 43 yrs old. I also had a semen analsys done and my count came back at a 3 which they told me is pretty low it is below normal and I was very upset however my first child was concieved after only being with my first partner 1 time, and then my second child was concieved after 5 years of being with my 2nd partner, so I believe that I may have had this problem for years and that it may just take time, but neither of us are getting any younger and we would like to have atleast 1 child if not 2 and I was just wondering if anyone can give me any info on how to improve me semen count or where to go next with this process. I would greatly appreciate the help and so would me wonderful wife, she would be a great mother and she wants nothing more than to have children together and I would love to be able to give her that gift, and we have been following all of what the Dr. had told us, but it still has not happened, so anyone with advice for me it would be greatly appreciated thank you all so much!

Treatment options are based on the underlying etiology and range from optimizing semen production and transportation with medical therapy or surgical procedures to complex assisted reproduction techniques. Technological advancements make conceiving a child possible with as little as one viable sperm and one egg. Although the workup was traditionally delayed until a couple was unable to conceive for 12 months, evaluation may be initiated at the first visit in slightly older couples.

My son is35 yrs old and has a fertility count problem .My wife watch the Dr Oz show but missed the episode of remedies for fertility problems.What do you suggest he uses ti increase his sperm count.He spoke t a fertility doctor as well

me and my partner are trying to concive but it just is not happening his sperm count is very low what can we do we cant afford fertility treatment as its so expensive i am 31 and he is 27

I need some help regarding my pregnancy issues. well we've been married for 4 yrs and we've been trying for respective time period but we are unlucky to have such blessing. well back in 2008 we had our tests, my ultrasound was perfectly fine but my husband's semen test was not perfect it was below average or normal. My gyneacologist refered my husband to urologist, he examine him, his tests and everything and he prescribed him B complex vitamins but it never worked out cause my husband stopped using it.

so, suggest me what should i do? coz now i'm very desperate to get pregnant and most of the time i had a feeling that i won'y be able to have a baby.

Me and my husband, we do not have the health insurance which is why we are unable to visit a physician.

Very informative article. Men need to remember that undiagnosed medical conditions can also affect semen quality and delivery of viable sperm upon ejaculation. Be sure to have diabetes, hormonal issues, and thyroid dysfunction ruled out.

hi trying 4 baby not sure if i need a free Fertility Test oly 20 yers of age just whant to no if i can make babey s or not

Just for some helpful info, look up Me and my husband have been trying to get pregnant for the last 7 months and nothing has happened yet. I am fine, it's my husband that has a low count. I am about to order that supplement to see if it works. and if it does I will let everyone know... Good luck to everyone:)

My doctor wrote this to me after receving my sprem analysis. It shows that the sperm have poor motility 10% (normal is 50-100%) and that 90% of the sperm are immotile. What does this mean and what can I do to move forward of getting my wife pregnant. Please help us.

A fertility doctor - reproductive endocrinologist - can help determine the cause of your infertility as well as set up a treatment plan for you and your wife. For some men, a visit to a urologist may also be in order. To find a doctor near you, use the Find A Doctor search that can be found on every page of

Best of luck,

have you heard of any casesof young that had been in the army such as my son who have absolutely no sperm count? he was an emt and was ordered to sign papers "volunteering" for inocculations test some were supposedly phlecebos others not. he also adminstered these shots but he nor the men receiving them were allowed to no what they were. he suspects this was the cause for his inferility. could you direct me to any info? would greatly appreciate it.

My doctor wrote this to me after receving my sprem analysis. It shows that the sperm have poor motility 10% (normal is 50-100%) and that 90% of the sperm are immotile. What does this mean and what can I do to move forward of getting my wife pregnant. Please help

my wife and I have been trying to get her pregnant we have children from past spouses and would love to have a few together,, her test have been looking good, however my sperm test has been low the results showed me a 3 can you tell me what needs to be done to correct this and make it higher,, I have a specialist scheduled in a month but would like to know if there is anything I can do..

I have been on testosterone treatment for about three years, due to my low levels. My wife would like to get pregnant, but it is not happening. We were able to concieve two other children prior to taking testosterone. is there anything that can be done to conceive another child? and approximately what does it cost?

Great article!

Male fertility problems account for about 40% of problems in couples who cannot conceive. All men should be tested when a couple suspects infertility.

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