Treatment of Infertility

Investigating Fertility Issues in Men

How Is a Sample Collected?

Prior to semen analysis, ejaculation should be avoided for two to three days. The specimen is best analysed within an hour or two of collection for accurate results. It is recommended that up to three separate samples are taken over a six to eight week period to ensure good quality testing and to eliminate lab errors.

Normal Results

Normally, seminal fluid is clear to milky-white in colour, thick and sticky (viscous) in consistency, has a pH (acidity) level between 7.8 and 8.0, and contains few or no white blood cells (leucocytes). A healthy semen sample should contain at least twenty million sperm per ml of semen; have at least 15 per cent normally shaped sperm; and have more than 50 per cent of sperm with forward movement, or 25 per cent with rapid movement within 1 hour of ejaculation. Good sperm motility is the single most important measure of semen quality and can compensate for men with low sperm counts.

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Although semen analysis can often suggest male infertility, the results may not identify the cause of the condition. Additionally, some men with low sperm counts are able to reproduce (i.e. are fertile). In many cases, abnormal semen analysis results require additional testing.

Other Tests for Fertility

Other tests that may be carried out to look at male fertility include analysis of urine to rule out infection. A full screen may be indicated to check for sexually transmitted infections; this would include penile swabs. Blood tests may look at your thyroid, liver and kidney functions, and check your iron and white cell count, as well as blood sugar levels to rule out diabetes. Hormone tests may include serum testosterone and others such as LH and FSH (hormones made by the pituitary gland in the brain: LH stimulates the testes to produce testosterone and FSH stimulates the production of sperm).

Your weight, body mass index and abdominal circumference can be checked to rule out obesity. More specialised tests may include analysis of your chromosomes and checking the immune system, particularly looking for antisperm antibodies that may target and attack your own sperm.

Treatment of Infertility

There are a variety of ways to treat infertility, which ultimately depend on the underlying cause. It may involve simple education and counselling, medicines New Zealand Viagra Pharmacy to treat infections, surgery or, in some cases, highly specialised procedures such as in vitro fertilisation.

Lifestyle changes may also help alleviate infertility, such as reducing stress, dietary modification, stopping the use of drugs or alcohol, or reducing the temperature around the testes.

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