Before starting infertility tests, you should be aware that this process requires responsibility and commitment. Your doctor may want to know your sexual habits and give you advice about them if necessary. The necessary tests and trial periods can take months. In one-third of couples with infertility problems, no cause can be found. (Infertility of unknown cause)
The evaluation period can be expensive and uncomfortable, and there is no guarantee that you will get pregnant after all the tests and examinations.
Tests for Men to Diagnose Infertility
The testicles of a non-infertile man should produce enough healthy sperm to be able to ejaculate. Tests for men are to understand whether these processes are damaged.
• General Physical Examination: It is about the examination of genital organs, medical history, past diseases, drugs used and sexual habits.
• Sperm Analysis: The most important test in male infertility is sperm analysis. Your doctor may ask you to give a sperm sample one or more times. The sperm sample is obtained by masturbation and examined in the laboratory in terms of quantity, color, presence of infection, sperm count, shape and motility of sperm.
• Hormone Tests: These are blood tests to examine the testosterone level and other male hormones.
• Ultrasound of the Rectum and Testicular Bag: Your doctor may order an ultrasound to diagnose the presence of sexual problems such as retrograde ejaculation.
What is Spermiogram? Why Is It Done?
While it is possible to determine the causes of female infertility with a large number of tests, a single test can inform us about infertility in male patients. Here this test is "Spermiogram (Semen analysis)".
Sperm Test, Sperm Analysis
In male infertility, the most important test that a person should have is the sperm test.
What is Sperm Test?
The purpose of the test is to microscopically examine the fertility potential of the sperm in the patient.
When Should Sperm Test (spermiogram) Be Done?
If couples who have had a regular and unprotected sex life for one year cannot conceive, the first test doctors will ask from male patients is the sperm test. When couples encounter such a situation, they should have a sperm test.
How is the Sperm Test Done?
Before having a sperm test, the person should abstain from sexual intercourse for 3-4 days. There should be no discharge (sleep, etc.) in these 3-4 days. After this 4-day abstinence, the patient is asked to ejaculate into a sterile container by masturbation in the special sperm delivery rooms of the andrology laboratories specialized in this branch. Since the first drops coming out of the penis are very important, they should definitely not be carried out of the container and if they are overflowed, the staff should be informed. In the sperm sample taken from the person, expert technicians perform the sperm examination by considering the main important criteria such as the number, shape, movement and fluidity of the sperm. In order to obtain a healthier result, a sperm sample should be given twice within 3 to four weeks.
Semen (ejaculate, semen, sperm sample)
The fluid that comes from the man as a result of ejaculation is called semen (sperm sample). In the sperm test examination, the number of sperms, the shape of the sperm (morphology), the motility of the sperms and their quantity are examined, as well as the amount of the semen (sperm) sample taken, its pH, color, presence of leukocytes, fructose amount, liquefaction time (Semen solubility) and the evaluation is made.
There are several different criteria in sperm test evaluation. “Kruger criteria” is a microscopic evaluation method that specifically considers deformities in sperm. According to the Kruger order, the sperms are evaluated according to the disorders in the head, middle part and tail structure. By applying a special staining process, the shape (morphology) characteristics of the sperm are examined and the fertility capacity of the sperm sample is determined.
Tests for Women in Diagnosing Infertility
The ovaries of a woman who is not infertile must regularly release an egg each month, allowing the reproductive system to meet the egg and sperm and become an embryo. The reproductive organs of the woman should be healthy and functional.
After asking questions about your medical history, menstrual cycles, sexual habits, your doctor will ask you to undergo a general examination. This is called a gynecological exam and may also require certain tests:
• Ovulation test: A blood test requested to measure hormone levels and check if you are ovulating.
• Hysterosalpinography: It is performed to determine the clarity of the HSG tubes and whether they have the ability to fulfill their duties, to see the formations and anomalies occupying space in the cervical canal and uterus. Cervical insufficiency, tuberculosis, adenomyosis, fibroids and polyps can be identified with HSG. While the HSG is being drawn, an oily x-ray dye (opaque substance) is introduced into the uterus with the help of a cylindrical catheter passing through the cervix (cervix). By looking at the distribution of this opaque substance, it is tried to reveal the problems related to the intrauterine or fallopian tubes.
• Laparoscopy: It is an operation performed under general anesthesia and a thin telescope is inserted into the abdomen through the belly button to view the intra-abdominal organs. With laparoscopy, it is possible to directly observe diseases or problems related to the uterus, ovaries and tubes and to perform surgical intervention with instruments inserted through 3 - 5 mm holes opened in the lower abdomen. Ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancies, uterine fibroids, tube surgery and endometriosis can be easily treated laparoscopically.
• Hysteroscopy: A way of looking inside the uterus. With the device called hysteroscope, the diagnosis or treatment of the problem related to the uterus can be made. Hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose certain conditions as well as for therapeutic purposes. For example; uterine adhesions, sections or fibroids can be removed by hysteroscopy. Hysteroscopy can be used for diagnostic purposes in cases such as abnormal bleeding, infertility, recurrent miscarriages, adhesions, and abnormal growths.
• Hormone Tests: These are blood tests to look at ovulation hormones, thyroid and pituitary hormones.
• Ovarian Reserve Test: It can be done to determine the potential activity of eggs after ovulation.
• Genetic Tests: It can be done to understand whether there is a genetic condition that causes infertility.
• Pelvic Ultrasound: Ultrasound is performed to examine the uterus and tubes.