The medical tests performed on men are just as important as those carried out on women before starting assisted reproductive therapy
The first step before assisted reproductive therapy is to undergo a full medical examination to determine the most appropriate technique in each case. To obtain this diagnosis, it is necessary for the both man and the woman to have a medical examination. What tests are involved in the case of men?
A semen analysis or seminogram is the first and most common of all these procedures. It is a simple test to determine the concentration, mobility and shape of the sperms in a semen sample.
A test that is complementary to the seminogram is the sperm capacitation or REM test, which consists of separating from the semen all the fluids and elements it contains in order to isolate the sperm and leave them in a medium that is enriched with nutritive substances. This way, the sperm with the best mobility can be selected and separated from the rest. Based on this count of sperm with good mobility, a determination can be made about which of the existing assisted reproductive technique can be used to fertilise the egg.
Sometimes it is necessary to use another, more complex test such as semen cultures, which detect potential infections that affect the sperm quality. Another possibility is a hormone test; this allows anomalies in the levels of certain hormones, for instance, testosterone, to be detected through a blood test.
In certain cases a physical examination is necessary. The specialist feels the testicles to check that they have descended in full and ensure they are of the right size. He will also ensure that there are no irregularities in the deferent ducts which connect the epididymis with the ejaculatory ducts, where the semen is stored. If the man cannot obtain semen by ejaculation, a testicular biopsy procedure is used: the sperm in the testicles is recovered by means of a small puncture and that sperm is then analysed and frozen, to enable it to be used at a later date.
The more information the better
The information given to the doctor during the first visit, for instance documents from previous assisted reproductive treatments, is always helpful. If the patient has a disease, it is important for him to provide the clinic’s medical staff with the reports of his specialist. All this will be of great use in determining the best treatment.
Whenever the doctors consider it necessary, additional tests can be requested, such as karyotyping, to examine the chromosome characteristics and rule out any possible chromosomal alterations that could cause sterility or infertility.
To guarantee your comfort, our specialised medical team can perform all the tests during your first visit. However, if you wish you can bring the test results with you from your place of residence.