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Diagnosis of Infertility in Men

  • Alayne Ronnenberg, ScD
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Diagnosis of Infertility in Men

During the initial consultation, both partners will be evaluated for fertility problems. You will be asked about any symptoms. Your family and medical history will be reviewed. This will include any serious medical conditions or treatments, history of previous sexually transmitted diseases or trauma. You will be asked about your lifestyle habits, including the use of tobacco and alcohol.

Male infertility is not the same as erectile dysfunction . Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain or maintain an erection of the penis that is firm enough for sexual intercourse.

A physical exam will also be done. During the physical exam, your doctor will look for physical problems that may cause infertility. This can include varicoceles—dilation or swelling of the veins of the testicle—or undescended testicles . The pattern of hair growth in the genital area will be assessed. The prostate gland will also be assessed.

You will probably be asked to give a blood and semen sample. They will be sent for analysis. Other tests will depend on the doctor's evaluation of your physical, medical, and family history.


  • Infertility. Protect Your Fertility website. Available at: http://www.protectyourfertility.org/malerisks.html. Accessed December 18, 2017.
  • Infertility in men. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T902812/Infertility-in-men.
  • Lindsay TJ, Vitrikas KR. Evaluation and treatment of infertility. Am Fam Physician. 2015;91(5):308-314.
  • Male infertility/andrology. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.reproductivefacts.org/topics/topics-index/male-infertility.
  • Overview of infertility. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/infertility/overview-of-infertility.


  • Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.