Tests of Male Fertility
For men, an evaluation of infertility includes a medical history and physical examination to detect any anatomic abnormalities. In some cases, examination using trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS) can be used to identify specific abnormalities, such as obstructions blocking the sperm from being released during ejaculation. Absence of sperm (azoospermia) can also be due to missing vas deferens or seminal vesicles.
Semen analysis. Semen analysis is the mainstay of male testing. Collection and prompt evaluation of an ejaculate can quickly determine any abnormalities in the quantity, shape, and motility of sperm. Computer-assisted technology is often used to evaluate sperm functionality.
Blood tests can evaluate serum levels of the following:
- Free and total testosterone
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Prolactin (PRL)
- Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
- Presence of sperm antibodies
Biopsy. In some instances, a biopsy of testicular tissue can identify infertility problems such as sperm production, abnormal growths, tumors, or incomplete growth or maturation of reproductive organs.