Infertility Tests: A Mans General Physical Examination

Infertility tests are not just designed for women. Many men are also tested for fertility issues. One of the most common types of tests for men is a general physical examination. This examination is performed to determine the patient’s general health and identify any factors that might be impacting his fertility.

General Health and Male Fertility

Fertility problems are not only caused by issues in the reproductive organs. Health issues in other areas of the body can impact a man’s fertility. Hormone imbalances, tumors, auto-immune diseases and other health problems can reduce a man’s ability to produce sperm or affect the quality of produced sperm. A general exam will identify whether there are any health problems that could be impacting fertility. For this reason, a general physical exam is often ordered as one of the first tests when a man suspects he is experiencing issues with his fertility.

Physical Examination and Physical Issues

A component of a physical exam is whether the patient is experiencing any physical difficulties related to his reproductive organs. Pain in his testicular region may indicate a more serious health issue. A general practitioner would look into these issues and determine whether they required further investigation (to see if they were impeding the patient’s fertility).

Non-Fertility Related Health Issues

If a general physical exam reveals that the patient is suffering from an ailment that is impacting his fertility, but which is not specifically a fertility issue, many times the physician will recommend treatment that is not directed only to the patient’s fertility problems. Rather, a physician will try to correct the larger health issue in hopes that once that issue is resolved, any fertility problems will disappear.

If Fertility Issues Persist

If treating a health issue uncovered by the general exam does not fix the patient’s fertility problems, the next step is usually for the patient to visit a fertility specialist. The general physical exam and any subsequent treatment will have been performed by the patient’s general physician and not the fertility specialist. However, the specialist may have recommended a general physical exam before performing more fertility-specific tests. In this instance, a patient that has no general physical issues would return to the specialist for further treatment.

Physical Examination and Physical Issues

A component of a physical exam is whether the patient is experiencing any physical difficulties related to his reproductive organs. Pain in his testicular region may indicate a more serious health issue, which a general practitioner doctor would further investigate.

Subsequent Treatment by a Specialist

If the general physical exam revealed no health issues, or if treatment of any present health issues did not resolve the patient’s fertility problems, the next step would be for the patient to seek help from a specialist. A fertility specialist may perform another examination limited only to the patient’s reproductive organs. This exam would be much more specific and detailed.

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