Male Fertility Evaluation: What to Expect

Fertility is a team sport. As such, it is important for both members of the couple to be evaluated. While one in seven couples in the United States experiences infertility, most are surprised to learn that a male factor is identified in up to 50 percent of cases.

A male fertility evaluation is a crucial part of any couple’s reproductive journey, as it can offer key insights into factors that can be optimized to improve fertility options. A male fertility evaluation might sound scary, but it is a painless and important step in the process.

Key steps for male fertility evaluation

  1. A comprehensive history, including past medical conditions, surgeries, lifestyle factors and medications.
  2. A focused examination to identify relevant anatomy.
  3. Laboratory assessment, including a semen analysis possibly accompanied by reproductive hormones, and specialized genetic testing in select cases.
  4. Select radiologic imaging.

The cornerstone of the male fertility evaluation includes the semen analysis, which assesses the volume (amount of fluid that comes out), concentration (how many sperm are present), motility (sperm movement) and morphology (sperm shape). There is natural variation between analyses, and often the test is repeated to confirm normal or abnormal results.

While medications and surgeries are available to improve sperm production or transport, many other lifestyle factors to optimize sperm production can also be discussed. Our doctors provide the most cutting-edge therapies for our patients.

It is crucial for the male fertility evaluation to be performed by an expert in male fertility. Reproductive urology is a subspecialty field that includes additional training in aspects of men’s reproductive health.

In addition its role in reproduction, male fertility can be seen as a check-engine light for a man. It can be an opportunity for conducting a broader health assessment that had been bypassed.

There is rarely only one path to pregnancy. It is important to gain a complete understanding of all reproductive options by evaluating both members of the couple to give them the best chances to conceive.