Fertility testing is an important step for couples who are trying to conceive, and that applies to both partners. Although there is a common misconception that the female partner is usually the issue when couples face fertility problems, the reality is that male infertility is a contributing factor in over 50% of couples. For that reason, it’s wise to seek out male fertility testing in Tennessee if you and your partner are trying to have kids.
But what kinds of fertility assessments are available for men today? How do the evaluations work? And which healthcare professional should you contact for your fertility evaluation(s)? This article will provide an overview of what you need to know about male fertility testing near you.
Your Options for Male Fertility Assessments
Fertility testing has come a long way, especially for men. The right male fertility assessment for you will largely depend on where you are in the trying to conceive (TTC) journey. Here are just a few of the most common fertility evaluations for males:
- Sperm tests and semen analyses
- Hormone evaluations
- Genetic testing
- Visual imaging tests
This is the most basic and widely accessible form of a male fertility test. A sperm test is designed to quickly assess one or a few sperm parameters, but most tests usually just assess sperm count. These are called “rapid sperm tests” and can generally provide results within an hour. However, the low cost and quick results of these tests often come at the sacrifice of quality and accuracy.
These types of rapid tests can be purchased at many local drugs and through a few online retailers.
A semen analysis goes far beyond a basic sperm test. This type of male fertility assessment closely examines all your semen parameters including semen volume, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and more. These tests are much more accurate than rapid sperm tests because the semen sample is assessed in a clinical setting by trained male fertility specialists.
This assessment should be your first choice when seeking out male fertility testing in Tennessee because it will identify factors that may be contributing to infertility. It also tells us if additional testing is needed. You can get a semen analysis at a local fertility clinic or order an at-home assessment kit from our team at Posterity Health.
If you receive “abnormal” results from your semen analysis, your healthcare provider may recommend a hormone assessment as your next step. Hormones, like FSH, LH, and Testosterone, contribute to sperm production. Abnormalities in your hormone levels or your pituitary system may contribute to infertility.
To assess your hormone levels, your provider may order a blood draw to assess the “Big 6” hormones in your system. Fortunately, many hormone imbalances can be corrected with personalized hormone management therapies.
Along a similar line as the hormone assessment, genetic tests rely on a blood sample. These tests can reveal whether there are subtle changes in your Y chromosome or if there are any signs of a genetic abnormality.
While it is rare for mutations within a single gene to cause infertility issues, it can occur. Genetic conditions and diseases like Klinefelter syndrome or myotonic dystrophy can directly affect a male’s fertility status.
Genetic blood tests are usually only ordered when other possible causes of infertility have been ruled out.
These tests are used in some instances to help give providers more information based on what they see during a physical exam. In unique cases, your healthcare provider may recommend assessments like a scrotal ultrasound or an MRI. These tests will visually assess your reproductive organs to check for visual abnormalities or issues that may be contributing to infertility. For instance, a scrotal ultrasound may reveal a varicocele, which is an enlargement of the veins within the testicle and is a common cause of infertility.
Which Male Fertility Test is Right for You?
A semen analysis is the best place to start when assessing your fertility status. It will provide in-depth data on your semen parameters, and your results will be interpreted by a male fertility specialist.
If the cause(s) of your infertility issues cannot be identified from your semen analysis, your healthcare provider will likely recommend one of the other assessments outlined above.
Get Started with Male Fertility Testing in Tennessee Today
At Posterity Health, we strive to help couples get pregnant through affordable fertility testing and treatment. No matter where you are on your path to parenthood, our male fertility experts can help you uncover the facts about your fertility status and provide personalized recommendations on how to best optimize your fertility.
Contact us today to learn more about your options for male fertility testing in Tennessee.