Men’s health

The seven tests for men looking to check their fertility

May 24, 2023
Lizzie Hayes

If you are looking to get your fertility tested, there are several assessments and examinations available to see if you have healthy sperm, or whether considering fertility treatment may be right for you. In this article, we'll run through the various tests used to assess sperm count and motility, as well as overall reproductive health. Listed below are the most common processes used to test fertility:

1. Medical History and Physical Examination

A medical history questionnaire and physical examination is usually the starting point from which you can get your fertility tested. During the questionnaire, a healthcare professional will ask you about:

  • Your medical history, such as any previous medical conditions, surgeries, or medications that may have affected your fertility.
  • Lifestyle factors including exercise habits and whether or not you smoke or take recreational drugs. 

They will also conduct a physical examination to assess your overall health and that of your reproductive organs. 

2. Semen Analysis

The most common test for male fertility, a semen analysis is when a semen sample is collected in a container through masturbation (usually after 3 days without any sexual activity). Your sperm health can then be evaluated in a lab by assessing a number of sperm parameters:

  • Sperm count (or sperm concentration) - A normal sperm count would comprise of at least 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. 
  • Sperm motility (sperm movement)
  • Morphology (sperm cell shape) 

By measuring the quantity and quality of sperm, a doctor can determine whether poor sperm health is the cause of any fertility issues you might be experiencing. If you are concerned about your sperm health and are interested in having a semen analysis done, book a call with your Fertifa Patient Advisor who will be able to guide you towards next steps

3. Hormone Testing

Blood tests may be conducted to measure hormone levels, such as testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin. Hormone imbalances can impact a man's fertility, and so by identifying any hormonal abnormalities, these tests are valuable fertility testing options. 

  • Hormone testing can also be used to help identify issues with sperm production. Certain hormones, most significantly testosterone, control a man's sperm production, and so hormonal imbalances can contribute to male-factor infertility.

4. Genetic Testing

In some cases, genetic tests may be recommended to identify genetic abnormalities or disorders that can affect fertility. This is especially important if you have a family history of genetic conditions or if there are other indications for testing.

5. Imaging Studies

Ultrasound or other imaging techniques may be used to examine the reproductive organs, including the testicles, epididymis, and prostate. These tests can identify structural abnormalities or conditions that may affect fertility, such as varicocele or blockages.

6. Post-Ejaculation Urinalysis

This test checks for the presence of sperm in your urine after ejaculation. If sperm is found in the urine, it may indicate retrograde ejaculation, a condition in which sperm travels backward into the bladder instead of exiting through the penis during ejaculation.

7. Testicular biopsy

During a testicular biopsy, a small sample of tissue will taken from the testicles to examine the cause of a man's infertility, diagnose testicular cancer, or investigate certain testicular conditions. The procedure involved extracting the tissue sample for analysis either by a thin needle or small incision in the scrotum. 

8. Additional Tests

If the tests listed above cannot find the cause of your fertility issues, further examinations might be recommended. These may include genetic counseling or specialised sperm function tests.

We understand it can be overwhelming looking over all these tests. Fertifa is a helping hand for people experiencing all kinds of reproductive health concerns. ​If you'd like to book in a call to discuss how we can provide men's health benefits for you and your team at work, get in touch here. We'd love to speak 💜