The male partner contributes half of the genetic material to the new offspring by way of the sperm. There are several tests available to assess the male partner to determine if he is contributing to the couples’ infertility struggle. The simplest testing is used first and followed by more invasive testing if abnormalities are found.

Semen Analysis

This is a simple test to check for the presence and quantity of sperm as well as evaluate the characteristics of the sperm found. It is typically obtained by masturbation after 2 – 5 days of abstinence. The sample needs to be kept at room to body temperature and transported to the laboratory within one (1) hour. Results are usually available within 1 day.

Hormone Testing

If the semen analysis demonstrates a low sperm count then hormone blood tests may be ordered to try to determine the cause of the low count. Common hormones that may be ordered are FSH, LH, Prolactin, TSH and a testosterone level.

Genetic Testing

Depending on the results of the hormone testing, additional genetic testing may be requested. Certain genetic mutations (such as Y-microdeletions) or chromosomal abnormalities (such as Klinefelter’s syndrome, 47XXY) can cause a low sperm count. The genetic tests are performed on blood samples.

Infectious Disease Panel

Both male and female partners, in which body/fluids may be transferred through the laboratory, are required to have infectious disease screening. You may be screened for HIV, Hepatitus B and C, syphillis, human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).