What To Expect From An Infertility Test
If you suspect you may be infertile, it's important to know what to expect from an infertility test. Infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive a child after trying for one year. There are many potential factors that can lead to infertility, both for the man and the woman. Male infertility typically occurs when you are not producing enough sperm, if the sperm cannot move the way they should or if there is a blockage keeping the sperm from reaching your partner's egg. If you are being tested for infertility, your doctor may do several tests. These include:
- Semen analysis. For this test, your doctor will ask you to produce a semen sample, either by masturbating or with a special condom to collect semen. The sample will be tested for number of sperm, how they are moving and whether they are the correct shape. Typically, you will need to take this test twice, more than two weeks apart. You will usually be asked not to masturbate for several days before the infertility test.
- Hormone testing. To diagnose infertility, your doctor will test the levels of follicle-stimulating hormones and testosterone in your bloodstream. Too much or too little of these hormones can negatively affect sperm production and quality. Hormone testing for infertility is done with a standard blood test.
If your doctor finds anything unusual in either of these infertility tests, more testing may be done and treatment will be recommended. On average, two-thirds of couples who suffer from infertility are eventually able to conceive a child.