If you’re like many couples who are having a hard time getting pregnant these days (about 1 in 10), it can be a challenging journey. I recommend having fertility tests performed on the man before they are performed on the woman. Why?
When a couple attends my class at Blossom Wellness Center or Natal to Nest and they haven’t conceived yet, I tell them about my "Rule-of-Thirds." Often people think infertility issues usually occur in the woman. In reality, 1/3 of the time it has something to do with the woman, 1/3 of the time it has something to do with the man, and 1/3 of the the time it’s the combination of the couple (neither one is “infertile" but both are “subfertile"). The fertility tests for a man are less invasive, less expensive, and could very well be the issue the couple is having.
Of course I recommend that the woman chart her cycles using the Fertility Awareness Method so they’ll have some information about her reproductive health. But how can they gauge a man’s reproductive health?
More often than not they’ll start with a semen analysis that will look for a number of things, the 3 most important being sperm count, motility, and morphology. Sperm count is just the number of sperm present either by milliliter or the entire ejaculate. Motility refers to how well the sperm move or swim: fast and straight or slow and curved. And then morphology has to do with the sperm’s shape: too-small head, two heads, two tails, etc. The lab will determine the fertility cut-offs for each test.
Image of higher-than-average sperm count from Wellcome Images.