By Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
In men, symptoms of low testosterone may show as signs of hormonal issues such as changes in hair growth or sexual function. The quality, quantity, morphology and motility of a man’s sperm is also looked at.
Physical examination and routine laboratory tests for men include:
1. Hormone testing: a blood test is done to determine the level of testosterone and other male hormones.
2. Physical examination: includes the genitals and questions about medical history, illnesses and disabilities, medications and sexual habits.
3. Semen analysis: is the most important test for men. Your doctor will ask for one or more semen samples. The laboratory determines the number of sperm present and any abnormalities in the morphology and motility of the sperm. Sperm counts can fluctuate from one sample to the next.
4. Ultrasound: a transrectal and scrotal ultrasound can help the doctor look for evidence of conditions such as retrograde ejaculation and ejaculatory duct obstruction.
Factors that may decrease sperm: Illness Excessive Caffeine Stress Excessive alcohol consumption Street and certain Prescription Drugs Some over the counter medications Injury to the testicles Blockage in the Vas Deferens Excessive Heat to the testicles Vitamin Deficiencies Varicocele:a varicose enlargement of the veins of the spermatic cord that may cause infertility through a significant decrease in the quality and quantity of the sperm.
Normal Semen Values Volume (mL) 2.0 Sperm Concentration (million/mL) 20 Motility (%) 50 Forward Progression (0-4) 3 Normal Morphology (%) (WHO) 30 Normal Morphology (%) (Strict) 14 Total Sperm Count (million) 40 Total Motile Sperm (million) 20 Total Functional Sperm (million) 6
This is a glossary of terms your doctor may talk about or will show you on lab test results: Aspermia: No semen ejaculated Hematospermia: Blood present in semen Leucocytospermia: White blood cells present in semen Azoospermia: No spermatozoa found in semen Normozoospermia: Normal semen parameters Oligozoospermia: Low sperm concentration Asthenozoospermia: Poor motility and/or forward progression Teratozoospermia: Reduced percentage of morphologicall normal sperm Necrozoospermia: No live sperm in semen Globozoospermia: Round headed acrosome-less sperm
A variety of factors can result in low testosterone, including infertility in men. Approximately 25% of infertility is directly due to the male partner. Low sperm count or anatomical abnormalities are often the two main reasons for male issues.
Several other factors can contribute to this including exposure to excessive heat or fever, radiation, toxins, alcohol consumption or acute injury or testicular injury. Anatomical abnormalities such as an endocrine disorders or varicocele, a diluted vein of the spermatic cord can also cause a problem. Varicocele can be treated successfully with surgery. Environmental exposures, smoking, and use of recreational drugs (e.g., marijuana, cocaine, hashish) may reduce sperm count or cause abnormal sperm morphology.