It's a Manly Thing
In our society, most women feel more comfortable talking about, and dealing with, fertility issues than do men. This can certainly pose a problem - and a surprise - for many men if they discover that they are the one with the problem. Fertility is tied with virility in our society and many men see it as a lack of manliness, should they have fertility issues.
Therefore, it is important for men to understand exactly what the process of getting tested for fertility issues is like and what to expect from the doctor. Hopefully, with more education, men will have less fear about fertility testing and assistance and will come to the testing more relaxed and eager to fix the problem.
If you believe that you have a fertility issue, or if your partner has already been tested and you suspect that you have a problem, you'll need to make an appointment with the family doctor. The doctor will ask you questions about your past and about your history of trying to conceive. The doctor will conduct a routine semen analysis to check both the quality and the quantity of the sperm. You'll give a sample at the doctor's office, or in some cases produce a sample at home and then drive it to the office. While this is the most embarrassing part, the doctors see it as routine. They see men going through this process all the time and they do not see it as something to be embarrassed about. You'll have a quiet location and a cup to use for the sperm. Think about the bigger picture while going through this step, and remember that you are doing this for the chance to become a father.
Analysis of Results
If your first round of testing doesn't indicate any issues, the doctors will have more testing done so that false negatives can be ruled out. If both tests return normal, it indicates that you don't have fertility issues. If you get back a positive result, however, the doctor may order more tests and recommend that you see a fertility specialist.
Certainly, there are many different issues that the doctors may identify that can be causing your fertility problems. You may have no sperm being produced at all (Azoospermia) or only a small amount (Olisgiospermia). They may find that your sperm isn't moving normally (sperm motility) and that it isn't moving fast enough to fertilize the egg. You may also find out that something in the sperm's structure is causing the infertility (sperm morphology).
Once a problem has been identified, it's time to get the help that you need to conceive. You'll go to a fertility specialist who will offer many suggestions to correct your problem. Certainly, he or she will discuss lifestyle changes that you can make, environmental factors that might hurt your fertility, and more. You may be put on medication or encouraged to change your diet and exercise. The doctor may offer vitamins and may recommend ways to pace your sex life for a better chance at conception.
Certainly, fertility issues are nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. It is very important to seek out the help that you need and to put yourself on the path towards conception!