What is infertility?

Infertility is a condition of the reproductive system that prevents the conception of children. Infertility, as defined by The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), is a disease characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person’s capacity to reproduce either as an individual or with his/her partner. It affects approximately 10-15% of couples throughout the United States. The diagnosis of infertility is usually given to couples who have been attempting to conceive for at least 1 year without success.

Diagnosis

Before infertility testing, your doctor or clinic works to understand your sexual habits and may make recommendations based on these. In some infertile couples, no specific cause is found (unexplained infertility).
Infertility evaluation can be expensive, and sometimes involves uncomfortable procedures. Many medical plans may not reimburse the cost of fertility treatment. Finally, there’s no guarantee — even after all the testing and counseling — that you’ll get pregnant.

  • 40% of infertility problems are male related.
  • 20% of infertility problems are a combination of both male and female.

Tests for Men

Male fertility requires that the testicles produce enough healthy sperm, and that the sperm is ejaculated effectively into the woman’s vagina and travels to the egg. Tests for male infertility attempt to determine whether any of these processes are impaired.You may have a general physical exam, including examination of your genitals. Specific fertility tests may include:

  • Semen analysis
  • Hormone testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Testicular biopsy