If you have infertility, why do you have to test the man?

Infertility is often seen as a woman’s problem.  Infertility doctors are usually gynecologists.  Most treatments are given to women.  The woman is the one who needs to get pregnant.  But doesn’t it take two to tango?

Why, yes, yes it does!

The fact is that half the time, the infertility is a female factor.  The other half the time, male factor is at play.  We don’t like to assess blame here so there’ll be no talk of whose fault it is.  But with that in mind, there is sometimes resistance to having testing done on the male partner.  Here are some of the reasons why:

“He doesn’t have insurance for testing.”  Semen analysis typically costs about $100-$150.  It’s one of the cheapest fertility tests available. (Click here for funny video about this)

“We want it to be natural.”  If there is a male factor, usually he is referred to a urologist who specializes in male infertility.  The urologist will examine him and possibly order some blood work.  Sometimes, medications or vitamins can be prescribed to boost the quality of the sperm.  All these treatments will take about 3 months to see an improvement in the sperm, because that’s how long it takes for the sperm to travel from the testes to the ejaculated semen.  Sometimes, insemination is recommended.  If this is the case, couples can go home and have sex that same day, in addition to the insemination.

“I just want to test and treat myself first.”  This is valid, but if there is no fertility problem with you, it’s a little like putting on a warm coat because your feet are wet.  You’ll get some improvement, but you’re not really tackling the problem.

“There’s no reason to test him.  I know it’s me.”  Maybe you have irregular cycles, or endometriosis, or blocked tubes.  But 20 % of the time, both people in a couple have the problem.

“He already has kids.”  If the baby is only a couple of years old, this may be a reasonable assumption.   But if his kids are older, his fertility could have changed over the years just like yours can.  We recommend testing about once a year, because changes can occur.

If you have any other questions about fertility testing, I’d love to hear them!  Let me know in the comments and maybe I can address them in post in the future.


About womanmdsguide

My name is Dr. Kristen Cain and I'm an infertility doctor with a passion for women's wellness and having the time to live life to its fullest. I write about women's health issues and time management secrets for young professional women because a good life means having the health and time to enjoy it!
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2 Responses to If you have infertility, why do you have to test the man?

  1. Ladies, this is spot on. Although I myself had infertility issues (age), it turned out my husband did as well. He had lots of sperm, but they were all dead. He went in for varicocele (sp?) surgery and bingo, three months later bingo! He had plenty of healthy sperm. Then after several failed inseminations, he had a bad count again! The doctor gently asked if he had been going through any stress 3 months ago. Turns out yes, exactly 3 months befor that his father had died. Next month his count was up again and continued to be fine. Now we are parent of 2 fabulous 15 year old donor egg twins! My advice–leave no stone unturned!

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