Male Fertility Tests
Waterstone Clinic offers a range of treatments to men. We can help you explore your fertility potential, access fertility treatments, and provide freezing services. Male partners are routinely examined when couples attend the clinic to examine their fertility. You can make an yourself, or your GP/consultant can refer you for a consultation with one of our fertility specialists.
Fertility Testing for Men
At Waterstone Clinic, we offer two kinds of fertility testing for men:
- Basic Fertility Testing (a semen analysis test) and a phone consultation with one of our andrology team (male health specialists) to discuss your results
- Full Fertility Testing (a semen analysis test) with a detailed medical consultation with one of our consultants. As part of this testing, we may require blood tests.
These results of a fertility test can help you make choices for your future, and enable you to protect your health so that you can conceive when you decide the time is right.
What is a Semen Analysis test?
Semen analysis provides vital information about your fertility potential. It investigates the quantity and the quality of sperm within a semen sample. This test is the first test carried out at the start of any investigative process. Our andrologists (male health specialists) will examine the following:
- Count – the number of sperm present
- Motility – the sperm’s ability to swim
- Morphology – the shape of the sperm
Blood Tests for Men
If the results of a semen analysis demonstrate that the sperm is not of good quality, we may explore the following blood tests:
Semen analysis testing cannot provide information about the genetic constitution of the sperm, which is essential for normal embryo development. The test is intended to explore the DNA damage in sperm cells which may explain the cause of male infertility.
Testing for sperm DNA fragmentation is similar to the regular method of semen analysis at a fertility clinic. A semen sample is obtained and sent to a sperm DNA fragmentation centre for testing. This is a relatively new and expensive test that examines the DNA of sperm with a view to determining the best treatment method. It has yet to be established as a clinically significant test.
If the semen analysis test results are abnormal, blood tests may be taken for levels of testosterone, FSH and LH. A raised FSH level may be an indication of testicular failure.
Blood karyotyping is a test which will explore the chromosomes in the cells. The test involves counting the number of chromosomes in a cell or looking for abnormalities in the structure of chromosomes.
An abnormality of the Y chromosome may be the cause of oligospermia or azoospermia. This condition is passed from men to their sons, causing them to be infertile.
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition which affects the respiratory system. CF is an inherited disorder which can be passed from parents to their children. The cause of CF is a defect in a gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. A person who has only one copy of this altered gene is called a ‘carrier’ and will not have any symptoms of the condition. However if they have a child with a partner who is also a ‘carrier’ there is a 1 in 4 chance that their child will be born with CF. Cystic fibrosis carrier testing tells you your risk of carrying an altered CF gene. It can also tell you your chance of having a child with CF. However it does not tell you if your child will have CF.
CF carrier screening is important because about two thirds of men who have an abnormal CF gene will also have congenital absence of the vas deferens (a condition where the sperm ducts do not develop properly). Therefore, sperm is not carried from the testicles to become part of semen, resulting in azoospermia.