But I'm Scared To Be Tested for Fertility Problems!
If you and your partner suspect that you have fertility issues, you'll want to see your doctor. Your doctor will run a number of tests and will, potentially, send you to a fertility specialist. This entire process may appear scary before you go through it, and it's very important to allay your fears and to get the facts. Learn about this process so that you will be ready to get tested and will know what to expect from the testing itself.
When you first go to your doctor to discuss fertility issues, you'll need to give him a brief history of your attempts to conceive. You'll explain how long you've been trying to get pregnant, if your partner has regular cycles, if you do anything unusual that might lower your sperm count, etc. The doctor will then order a semen analysis for you to check both the quality and the quantity of your sperm. You are going to need to provide a semen sample, and many men find this process embarrassing. Remember that this is routine for your doctor, and he is not embarrassed at all by this process! You'll be offered a container, a quiet location and a chance to produce the sample.
Analyzing the Results
Assuming that the first semen analysis comes back normal, you'll have a second round of tests done to rule out a possible false negative result. If both tests return normal, this will be a good indication that you don't have a sperm issue, and the doctor will look elsewhere to explain your problems. If something does look irregular, the doctor may order more tests to further explore male fertility issues. If the tests come back with an indication that you do have male fertility issues, you'll be sent on to a fertility specialist for further testing and for assistance.
What's the Problem?
If the test identifies a problem, it may be the result of a number of different issues. Semen analysis can show Azoospermia, which means that you don't produce any sperm at all. It may show Oligiospermia, which means that you only produce a little bit of sperm. It may show an issue with your sperm motility, indicating that the sperm isn't moving in a normal way. It may show sperm morphology, showing that the structure and form of the sperm may be causing infertility.