Coping with Male Fertility Testing - Initial Consultation
Preparing for your initial fertility consultation is an important step in male infertility treatment. In fact, the more involved you are in the process, the less stress it will involve. Because 85% of fertility problems can be identified following an initial consultation, ensuring that you are properly prepared is crucial to your overall success.
What to Expect at Your First Fertility Appointment
At your initial consultation, you and your partner’s fertility specialist will establish your medical and reproductive health history, so that diagnosis and treatment with regard to male fertility can be established. As such, an initial fertility appointment helps to determine what types of male fertility tests and treatment options will be most effective in your individual case.
With regard to your medical history, your fertility specialist will ask you to provide information concerning your personal medical history, including any serious illnesses you may have experienced, types of medication you have taken in the past or that you are currently taking, and whether you have undergone surgery. He will also ask you to provide details on your family medical history.
In order to establish your reproductive health history, your fertility specialist will ask you whether you have or have had sexually transmitted infections (STIs), groin injuries, or conditions such as undescended testicles, ejaculatory problems and impotence.
Lifestyle is another important component that affects male fertility; exercise, diet, smoking, alcohol consumption and drug use can all lead to male fertility problems. Therefore, it is important to be forthcoming with regard to these practices, so that your fertility specialist can properly assess the cause of infertility.
In addition, a physical exam will also be conducted during your initial consultation. This test will help to evaluate prostate health as well as assess the health of the penis and the scrotum.
A semen analysis will also be performed in order to evaluate such characteristics as sperm motility, sperm count and morphology, while a blood test is important in checking hormone levels. In some cases, a culture test, including a semen sample and urethral tract sample, will be collected in order to check for a bacterial infection or an STI.
How to Prepare for Fertility Testing
In order to prepare for your initial consultation as well as preliminary male fertility tests, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- follow your fertility specialist’s instructions; if you’re unclear about something, don’t be embarrassed to ask for clarification.
- inform yourself about what the test will involve; find out about things like how long the test will take, where it will be performed, and what the recovery time is
- know what the follow-up instructions for the fertility test are; make sure you follow these instructions closely
Generally, an initial consultation will be followed by additional testing, which will help to establish diagnosis as well as to establish the most appropriate path of fertility treatment.