If a couple has failed to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse, both the man and woman should be evaluated. While female infertility may be hinted at by irregular periods, male infertility is not shown up by any specific symptom. Hormonal imbalances may sometimes be suspected if the man has abnormal hair growth, low libido or other signs of sexual dysfunction. But more often than not, male infertility is diagnosed after a sperm test that has been ordered when the couple are having problems conceiving.
There are many risk factors for infertility, including weight, age, STDs, smoking and alcohol. Certain medications or medical treatments can also impair sperm count and function. Talking with a medical professional will help clarify your risk factors, and what steps you can take to raise your sperm count or motility, which are the two main factors in healthy sperm.
A general physical examination, blood work and sperm sample are needed to diagnose male infertility. While the procedure is painless, it can be awkward having your reproductive organs examined. But it will be over quickly and you can move on to treatment.
Treatment for male infertility depends on the cause of the problem. Sometimes surgery is required, but often it just needs medication to balance your hormones, or even just lifestyle changes. There may be a choice of possible treatments, in which case talking them through with your doctor will help you choose the best one for you. You may need to try a combination of things before you find a solution that works.
While treatment is often effective in resolving fertility issues, sometimes a viable pregnancy is medically impossible. In these cases, your doctor may recommend the use of a donor or adoption services in order to grow your family. This can be a challenging thing to face, and if it arises take time to discuss it with your partner before rushing into a decision.