Male Fertility Tests: All You Need To Know About Them

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Fertility is a 50/50 proposition: half sperm, half egg. If you intend to father a child, be aware of this fact.

Therefore, the fact that 50% of infertility problems are caused by male fertility is probably not a coincidence.

But don’t mistake, this isn’t a blame game. To achieve your goals, you must arm yourself with the essential knowledge you require.

Let’s look into male fertility tests and what might (or might not) be making it harder to get pregnant.

male fertility tests

Men’s fertility testing looks to see if a male partner issue is a root of or a contributing factor in an infertile pair.

Infertility is a diagnosis given to a couple when they have not conceived after one year of performing unprotected sexual activity (at least once or two times a week).

To identify the underlying cause or causes of infertility, a fertility specialist would thoroughly assess both spouses at the time of initial evaluation of any infertile marriage.

Semen Analysis 

Semen analysis is the first stage in a male fertility test. The analysis of semen is a very straightforward, non-invasive procedure in which a sample of semen, often obtained by masturbation, is inspected under a powerful microscope to assess the number and caliber of sperm.

In semen analysis, these tests are conducted. When discussing male fertility testing, all four of the aforementioned “semen parameters” are crucial to take into account.

  1. Sperm Concentration Or Quantity 

    The number of sperms present per milliliter of semen is known as sperm concentration. Calculating the quantity of sperm per milliliter of semen yields information about sperm concentration.

    The World Health Organization states that a minimum of 15 million sperm in one ml of semen should be present in a normal sperm concentration.

    The importance of sperm concentration for male fertility is essential since there are many barriers between the sperm and the egg after ejaculation.

    Including the acidic nature of the vagina, mucus released by the cervical, which can either facilitate or obstruct the sperm’s approach to the egg, and the potential for sperm to become lodged elsewhere in the reproductive system, such as up the incorrect Fallopian tube.

    Check this trusted source to know more. A very low quantity of about 1% of sperm is thought to reach the egg, thus it seems to reason that starting with a lot would be beneficial.

  1. Sperm Motility

    How sperm migrate is referred to as sperm motility. Flagellation of the sperm’s tail and some assistance present in the female reproductive system move the sperm onward.

    Whether or not sperm reach the egg and, if they do, they are entering in the egg or not to fertilize it, depends on how they move.

    Sperm can travel most efficiently in broad, sweeping loops or straight lines. The proportion of moving sperm is known as motility, and the proportion of sperm moving in this manner is known as progressive motility.

    The WHO defines a normal result as having sperm that minimum of 40% motile (and that moves at least 32% more slowly than other sperm).

  1. Morphology Of The Sperm

    According to the report of the male fertility company Legacy, a healthy sperm should have the following features. You can check this trusted source to know more about sperm morphology.

    • A tail that helps it “swim” toward the egg.
    • A midpiece that contains mitochondria to power the sperm’s movement.
    • A head that contains the nucleus, which contains the genetic material for any future offspring.
    • An acrosomal vesicle is a structure at the sperm’s tip that contains enzymes to aid in sperm penetration of the egg.
  1. Semen Factors

    The volume of ejaculated fluid is referred to as semen. Low semen volume—less than 1.5 ml, according to the WHO—by itself usually won’t have a significant influence on male fertility.

    But it can signify a blockage in one or more ducts of glands present in the male reproductive system and exacerbate the problem of low sperm count.

    Male fertility testing is performed based on the chemical and pH of the semen in addition to its volume.

    Once more, variations in the pH or composition of the semen may indicate an issue with the testicles like blockage or infection.


Even when sperm cells pass all of the medical tests essential for male fertility, it’s still challenging to start a family.

That might be a sign of normozoospermic infertility, which means the sperm cells aren’t fertile in the first place. Urinalysis now becomes important.

You’ll be provided with a plastic cup at the testing location or the doctor’s office and asked to produce a quick, spotless pee sample.

To stop bacteria from your penis from getting into the cup, clean the area surrounding your urethra with the cleaning wipe. An analysis of the urine is done to look for biomarkers.

Since producing sperm requires a lot of energy, any production bottleneck could prevent healthy sperm production.

The biomarkers will become more understandable as time goes on, making any physiological issues easier to treat.

Hormone Testing

To produce sperm, the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and testicles collaborate to work together. The two hormones which are luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). 

It works in collaboration with testosterone in this process. Testicles produce these hormones. A blood test is performed to check out the performance and level of these hormones. 

  1. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

    The generation of sperm is helped by this hormone. High levels could be a sign that your testicles are unhealthy or have been harmed by disease, radiation, or chemotherapy. Low levels could indicate that you aren’t sperm-producing.

  2. Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

    In the pituitary gland, LH is created. Once gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) has been administered intravenously, LH levels can also be assessed.

    When LH is measured in this manner, your doctor can more precisely determine if the issue is in the pituitary gland or any other organ in your body.

  3. Testosterone

    Men should have testosterone levels between 300 and 1,000 ng/dL. Don’t forget that testosterone levels typically decline by 1% annually beyond the age of 40.

Testicular Biopsy

There are numerous procedures to do a testicular biopsy. Your sort of biopsy will depend on why the test is being done. Your medical professional will discuss your options with you.

  • A surgeon’s office, a surgical center, or a hospital may all do an open biopsy. An antiseptic (medication that kills germs) is used to disinfect the skin of the testicles. A sterile cloth has been used to cover the space around it. The area is numbed with a local anesthetic.
  • The skin is punctured with a tiny surgical cut. The testicular tissue is cut away in a little amount. A stitch is used to close the testicle’s opening. The skin wound is patched up with another stitch. If more than one testicle is involved, the process is repeated.
  • Most needle biopsies are carried out at the doctor’s office. Just like with an open biopsy, the region is cleansed and a local anesthetic is used. A specific needle is used to extract a sample from the testis. No skin cuts are necessary for the operation.

Genetic Testing

Infertility may result from genetic defects. Men may have changes in sperm production or sperm transport from the testis to the ovary. The following list includes three typical genetic tests for male infertility.

  1. Cystic Fibrosis

    To find out if they are carriers for the cystic fibrosis gene, men having CBAVD or Congenital Bilateral Absence of the Vas Deferens, in which both vas deferens are absent from birth, must undergo a test.

    Men with CBAVD are more likely to carry a faulty copy of this gene, although this does not always imply that they are having cystic fibrosis.

    Based on a physical examination, it can be determined if you have vas deferens.

  1. Karyotype

    To determine whether there are any additional or missing chromosomes, this test examines every chromosome.

    Production of sperm may be hampered by extra chromosomes. XXY instead of XY is an additional sex chromosome found in men with Klinefelter Syndrome (KS), for instance.

  1. Y-Chromosome

    There may be issues with how your sperm forms in case there are Y-chromosome deletions.

    To find out if your Y chromosome possesses all the essential genetic components required to produce sperm, a genetic test can be performed.

    The Y chromosome has several genetic alterations that are incompatible with generating sperm, therefore understanding this is crucial.


The condition of infertility affects the reproductive system. It prevents a person from being able to have kids. Men, women or both may be impacted.

A man has an issue with his reproductive system. This implies that you cannot become pregnant with your female companion.

The most frequent reasons for male infertility are issues producing healthy sperm. Sperm could be immature, have an odd form, or not be able to swim.