Your fertility is a measure of your overall health. Fertility problems can be a sign of other health problems. A fertility evaluation can help to improve your reproductive issues. But it can also be the first step towards improving your general health.
Our in-depth evaluation looks at genetic, congenital (born with), medical, surgical and environmental factors that can affect your fertility. For the most effective evaluation, we suggest bringing your spouse or partner to the appointment.
We use the following tests:
- Semen analysis
- Generally, this is the first test used to check your fertility
- Often a second test is needed to validate the results
- These results can help pinpoint the causes of your struggle to get pregnant
- Physical examination
- In some cases, an ultrasound is also needed
- Hormone testing
- Tests pituitary and testicular function
- Requires a blood test at the time of your visit
Other tests may be needed.
Understanding Male Infertility Treatment
Infertility is being unable to conceive after a year of trying. Watch Ryan Smith, MD, discuss fertility treatments. View urologist transcript.
Treatments may include lifestyle changes, medication, surgery, or assisted reproductive technologies.
- Lifestyle changes
- Avoid certain lubricants
- Decrease your stress
- Avoid excess heat (hot tubs, saunas)
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get plenty of sleep and exercise
- Avoid tobacco, marijuana and drinking alcohol too often
- Restores hormone balance
- Helps sperm production
- Surgery: Most surgeries are outpatient (no overnight hospital stays) and minimally invasive (no deep cuts made to your body). They also have short recovery times. Common procedures are:
- Microsurgical varicocele correction: A varicocele is an enlarged collection of veins inside the scrotum. Varicoceles can lead to low sperm production. Surgery involves using an operative microscope to permanently tie off these veins.
- Sperm retrieval performed with an operative microscope and assisted reproductive technologies. These include:
- Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA)
- Microdissection testicular sperm extraction (microTESE)
- Vasectomy reversal performed with an operative microscope
- Of 500,000 vasectomies done every year in the United States, 10% of these men qualify for vasectomy reversal
- These procedures have generally high success rates
Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.