Tradition seems to put a lot of pressure and blame on women when it comes to conceiving a child. Many men don’t even consider that their own fertility could possibly be the issue, as they grow up trying to project power and strength, and even considering weakness is often looked down upon.
Media also portrays a lot of older men in their retirement years as new fathers. This makes men think that their fertility will never fade.
There is a stigma and fear of embarrassment that causes men not to think about it, and often not to take this kind of test. Laughter, jokes and ridicule surround the issue of male infertility, with many common sayings like ‘he must be shooting blanks’.
That all said, infertility issues are nothing to be embarrassed about and are far more common than people think. It can happen to anyone or any couple. There are many factors that contribute, and there are also many ways to assist with issues for couples who are struggling.
However, you can’t know until you get tested. A male fertility test helps to make sure both parties are ready to participate to their fullest. So, here we look at the test options and some useful information about male fertility.
How to Get Tested for Male Infertility
Initially, most men would go for a fertility test called a semen analysis. It would involve visiting a doctor to discuss things and then producing a sample into a container. This would then be returned to the nurses or the doctor and checked by a specialist.
In most cases, there will be a private room provided at the clinic or hospital. Materials to aid providing the sample will be in the room, or you can take your own.
Some religions may not agree with this approach, and so in those situations, a special condom can be provided which catches the semen during intercourse.
However, it is important that no lubricants or normal condoms be used, as these can interfere with results and cause unnecessary concern. The number, mobility, and quality of sperm need to be assessed and many lubricants cause issues with these results.
The main factor in most cases is the count, as even if mobility and quality are lower if numbers are high there is still plenty of good sperm in the mix.
In many cases, the doctor will also want to perform a genital examination and dig deeper into your history. They’ll ask about your lifestyle, habits and sexual history.
The problem with a lot of the above is that it can be stressful and embarrassing for men. Having to wait for hours or days for results, can cause additional stress.
Fortunately, though, there is now the opportunity to perform private at-home male fertility testing, removing a lot of the pressure and concerns while providing fast results. Then, only if results are consistently low over 2-4 tests, would the man need to consider visiting a clinic or hospital for further tests.
How Can I Check My Sperm Count at Home?
myLAB Box offers a home testing kit that can accurately check a man’s sperm count with results provided in just 6 minutes. Compared to having to wait hours (or days) for results in some medical facilities, this provides private results within minutes, reducing stress.
The test is a Trak Test and is an “FDA-Cleared medical device”. The Trak system will spin the sample for about 5-6 minutes before providing results. Private at-home male fertility tests allow men to regularly track their reproductive health from the comfort of their homes.
Some preparation is required. Men are advised to:
- Refrain from ejaculating, ideally for 2-5 days prior to testing
- Write down any symptoms experienced
- Write down any major stresses or life changes
- Ask the family if there is any history of reproductive issues
- List any medications (including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, etc.)
The writing down and listing parts are so that should results be consecutively low, you have everything prepared for visiting a fertility specialist. Ideally, test results should be above 15M/mL. The higher, the better.
Just in case results are lower than hoped for, a free 27 page “Man’s Guide to Reproductive Health” is included with each male fertility testing kit.
What Are The Signs of Low Sperm Count in a Man?
In general, the clearest sign of male infertility is that a couple has been trying to conceive for a while (often 6 months or more) and haven’t conceived. However, the chances that it is caused by male infertility increase if the woman has been checked and declared fertile.
In most cases, there are no obvious physical signs of infertility that a man can check himself. Although a doctor may be able to find physical issues, such as blockages.
It is important to remember that male fertility rates are declining around the world, some claiming reports that “total sperm counts were down by almost 60 percent”. This is no one person’s fault, but a situation caused by modern lifestyles and diets.
Get your fertility tested today, the earlier you know, the more time you have as a couple to find solutions.