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Infertility in men — diagnostic tests to identify the problem


couples who are facing difficulties to conceive even after a year of having unprotected sex are more likely to infertility problems. And infertility is not just a problem for women. “Men may have fertility problems, too. When a couple is having difficulty getting pregnant, is also likely to be caused by a problem with the fertility of a man as it is with a woman’s fertility,” says Dr. . Abha Shroff, chief pathologist and director Disha Pathology Labs, Mumbai.

‘1 in 3 times, infertility is due to a problem with the man. It is therefore essential that both men and women should be tested for fertility problems, “she says.


If you are one of those men who have ignored ignore this problem for a long time, you should get tested. Here is an account profiles infertility in men with entries Dr. Shroff.

basic tests for infertility are common for men and women

1. These basic tests include:.

  • blood count complete (CBC)
  • erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • blood sugar – fasting and PP
  • vitamin B12, vitamin D3
  • Syphilis (VDRL)
  • Hepatitis HBsAg

you can read about these tests in detail in this post: profiles infertility: 8. tests to see why you are not getting pregnant

infertility problems in men arise mainly due to low sperm count, poor sperm quality and hormonal problems. To check the quality of the sperm, which will have to be tested for their semen. Semen is the fluid containing sperm that is released when you ejaculate.

2. Semen analysis: This is basically done to check the number and quality of sperm. For testing, generally 1.5 to 5.5 milliliters (ml) of semen is necessary.

  • S perm count ‘. Sperm per milliliter of semen ‘ is measured on a count of 20 million sperm or higher is considered to be normal. Low range may indicate infertility.
  • Sperm quality: Sperm quality is measured based on two parameters: the shape and mobility of sperm. sperm motility is the percentage of sperm actively moving in the sample. They are also classified according to the speed and traveling direction of movement. If they are 50% or more sperm to be mobile after an hour of sample collection, the results are considered normal. They must be moving with a good forward speed in a straight line. If you are not 50% or less number of sperm that do not have mobility, then a test of sperm viability is performed, where a dye or stain is used to identify the dead sperm.
  • sperm morphology structure is also observed, the size, shape and appearance of sperm. Abnormal sperm may have defective heads, midsections and immature forms. Ideally, more than 14% of the sperm should have normal heads. Semen should have a pH between 7.2 and 7.8.

Below is a table summarizing the test sperm analysis is presented:

test parameters

Results: Normal

Results: abnormal

The sperm count

20 million sperm per ml or more sperm

<20 million sperm / ml

sperm motility

More than 50 percent of sperm normally moves with good speed and straight

Less than 50% of normal sperm

sperm morphology

normal size and shape

defective head, midsections and sperm immature

Semen pH

7.2 and 7.8

beyond the range

3. semen culture: a semen culture is done to check fluid contamination with harmful pathogens. If semen is infected with the bacterium, which can affect the quality of semen and sperm. A positive result may indicate a urinary tract infection.

4. Testosterone: is a male reproductive hormone that plays a key role in the development of tissue in the testicles and prostate gland. It is a strong determinant of male sexual characteristics. The hormone is regulated by the pituitary gland in the brain. Therefore, if the testosterone level is low it could also indicate a problem with the pituitary gland and not just the testicles.

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