The factors responsible for giving rise to infertility among males and females differ completely. The diagnostic tests and treatments available for the sexes are different. When a couple is facing difficulties with conception then they must get themselves tested for their fertility. This issue might arise because of one partner or sometimes both might have some fertility problems. This blog shall make you aware of some common types of tests conducted on males and females for finding out the root cause of their fertility woes.
Male infertility diagnosis
The diagnostic test involves the physical examination and discussion of several factors such as family history, health conditions, past surgical procedures (if any), accidents and injuries, and things along those lines. The test may not reveal the exact cause of infertility issues at once. Tests will be conducted several times, which will obtain the root cause and based on the results, treatment will be followed.
Diagnostic tests involve:
General physical examination
The healthcare professional will ask you some questions regarding your general health and family history. They will enquire about things like chronic health conditions, illnesses, infections, recent or past surgeries, sexual habits, etc. They will perform a visual and manual examination of your genitals, which involves a pelvic exam wherein they check for the condition of internal and external reproductive organs including the penile, testicles, vas deferens (tubes and ducts), epididymis, and spermatic cords.
The seminal fluid, also known as semen, is a fluid that contains sperm. Its analysis will reveal the issues of fertility in males. It checks sperm volume, count, health, motility, and viability. The health of the sperm will decide the success of conception. Your healthcare professional will suggest you get your sperm tested, which involves the collection of a semen sample and getting it tested for checking the sperm for abnormalities. The tests will analyze the morphology, motility, count, sperm concentration, and indication of some infection.
Tests available for male infertility
Apart from semen analysis, various other tests will help in the identification of fertility problems. Given below are some general tests for infertility:
Sperm gets produced when your pituitary gland, hypothalamus, and testicles work together. According to the medical information available on the Healthline website, the pituitary gland helps in producing semen by releasing two hormones – Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
The testicles release testosterone hormone, which in combination with FSH and LH produces sperm. Imbalances and abnormalities in the function of these hormones can affect sperm production. To test the levels of hormones, the doctor will suggest a blood test.
This is a test that can produce images of the insides of the body. It uses high sound waves, which check for cysts, tumors, infections, and abnormalities in the testicles. It also checks for varicoceles, which cause the swelling of veins in the scrotum that can cause infertility.
This test checks whether there is some issue with the prostate gland and to see if there are any blockages in the vas deferens.
There is a possibility that one might have inherited infertility issues linked to poor sperm quality and concentration. These diagnostic tests reveal the genetic defects and help in managing them through proper treatments.
A needle will be inserted in the testicle to get a sample. It is inserted through a small cut in the testicle. The sample will be tested for sperm quality.
Female infertility diagnosis
Infertility can be strongly indicated when a couple fails to conceive despite trying for more than a year. It is necessary to consult a healthcare professional that will conduct diagnostic tests and suggest the correct treatment. They will ask some questions regarding general health, family history, menstruation problems, infections, diseases, etc.
Tests available for female infertility
As per Mayo Clinic, some common types of fertility tests for females are given below:
This test will reveal the levels of hormones in the blood that are responsible for ovulation. A blood sample will be collected to check for hormonal levels. The analysis will be done to check hormones like prolactin, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and thyroid hormones.
This test involves the injection of contrast into the cervix, and its movement is tracked with the help of X-ray imaging. This test will reveal any problems of blockages inside the uterus and fallopian tube.
These tests involve conducting an ultrasound of the pelvic region to check the uterine walls for fibroids, polyps, and other abnormalities. The test is done by inserting saline water inside the uterus, which helps in having a better view inside the uterus.
Ovarian reserve testing
This test helps in finding out about the quality and health of the ovum or eggs. The ovum is a reproductive cell that fuses with the sperm to become fertilized. Bad quality of the ovum will contribute to infertility.