What Urinalysis Shows About Fertility
A 2014 study shows that doctors can now test for normozoospermic infertility by tracking the levels of five biomarkers in urine.
While standard fertility tests may capture 75 percent of cases, the researchers were able to correctly identify 86 percent of the infertile men and 87 percent of the fertile men.
What does that mean for you? While theres still more research needed in this area, researchers suggest that the variant levels of these biomarkers may point to physiological problems as the root of normozoospermic infertility.
Making sperm is an energy-intensive process and any spoke in the production wheel could disrupt proper sperm production. The more we learn about the biomarkers, the easier it will be to fix any physiological problems.
Inhibin B And Male Infertility
Inhibin B, a hormone produced within the testicles, is involved in the feedback regulation of spermatogenesis by the brain. When sperm production is good, inhibin levels are higher, which causes the brain to maintain normal levels of FSH secretion. However, when sperm production by the testicles decreases, inhibin levels fall, which stimulates the brain to secrete more FSH in an attempt to force the testicles to make more sperm.
Normal ranges of inhibin levels have not yet been completely defined. One recent study found the following ranges of inhibin levels for 3 different groups of men:
Since inhibin levels are a more direct reflection of sperm production than the FSH levels that it helps to control, some researchers hope that someday it may be more clinically useful than FSH. However, at this point in time inhibin has not been studied nearly as extensively as FSH, the test is more expensive, and the test also has some of the same diagnostic limitations as the FSH test .
Health And Lifestyle Choices
What you choose to put in your body can have an impact on your fertility. Drug use, specifically, steroid use, can lead to a decreased size of the testicles and decreased sperm production. In addition to drug use, excess alcohol and even tobacco use can lead to decreased sperm production. Other lifestyle factors include emotional stress, depression and obesity.
What treatments are available?
Depending on the underlying cause of infertility, there is an array of treatment options available. If the root of the problem is related to a hormone imbalance, a hormonal intervention can balance the reproductive hormones and optimize sperm production. If the problems with fertility stem from a genetic or anatomical issue, surgical procedures can help extract healthy sperm to use for in-vitro fertilization. If male infertility is caused by a blockage within the sperm transport tubes, or by a varicocele, minimally invasive surgeries can correct the issue.If you feel that you may be experiencing male infertility, reach out to one of our providers. You can learn more information, or schedule an appointment by calling Alliance Urology Specialists in Greensboro at 274-1114.
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How To Prevent Male Infertility
Most male infertility problems arent preventable. However, you can abstain from some known causes of male infertility by reverting to a healthy lifestyle habit. For example:
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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Male Hormone Analysis: What Should The Normal Hormone Levels Be
Male sex hormones play a major role in fertility, since they are directly associated with the sperm production process, which is called spermatogenesis. The most important hormones involved in this function are testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, LH, and FSH.
Hormone analysis in men is carried out through a blood test. If the results obtained show altered values of some of these hormones, it could the reason for the difficulty experienced in becoming a father.
Provided below is an index with the 7 points we are going to expand on in this article.
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What Effects Do Hormones Have On Male Fertility
Generally, hormonal analysis in men to study their fertility consists of determining the levels of testosterone, FSH and LH .
FSH is involved in spermatogenesis, that is, in the formation of spermatozoa in the seminiferous tubules.
On the other hand, LH acts on the Leydig cells and secretes testosterone, the male sex hormone par excellence.
Finally, testosterone is involved in the development of male sexual characteristics. Thus, testosterone is responsible for the growth of muscle mass, beards and body hair.
What Should Women Know Before Taking An At
First, know that an at-home hormone test cant fully evaluate you for infertility.
These dont evaluate the many other causes of infertility, such as tubal blockage, uterine problems, or male factor infertility, Kallen says. Ovarian reserve testing is generally not recommended in women who arent infertile or who have untested fertility. The testing doesnt predict reproductive potential or fertility and can cause a false sense of alarm.
Also, its important to follow the instructions included in the at-home fertility test very carefully, Petrini says. This is because some hormones need to be checked on a certain day of your cycle for correct interpretation.
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Luteinizing Hormone And Male Infertility
LH is the hormonal signal from the brain that tells the testicles to make testosterone. LH testing is generally only needed when there is a question about how well the pituitary is functioning overall. Normal LH levels are in the range of 1.08.0 IU/L, but theres a high degree of fluctuation in these tests, with results varying as much as 50 percent from test to test. Repeat testing may be indicated for unexpected results that do not seem to match the clinical picture.
If LH levels are low , this usually is a result of either suppression of pituitary gland function or pituitary insufficiency. Suppression of pituitary gland function is most commonly the result of using androgenic substances such as testosterone injections, anabolic steroids, or prohormones, but rare causes can include androgen-secreting tumors or overactivity of the adrenal gland . Pituitary insufficiency can be the result of congenital problems, systemic illness, or past surgery, radiation, or trauma to the pituitary gland. Low LH levels combined with normal or high total testosterone levels is generally consistent with the use of androgenic substances, while low LH and low total testosterone levels are more likely consistent with pituitary insufficiency.
If the LH levels are normal but the total testosterone levels are low, this may mean the pituitary gland is not responding normally to the decreased testosterone levels.
How We Chose The Best At
At Healthline, we thoroughly vet any product we recommend for medical credibility, good business practices, and social impact.
We put each product through our vetting process to assess the scientific evidence backing the product, industry best practices, third-party validation, Food and Drug Administration approval and warnings, and other criteria.
When researching at-home fertility tests, we read online reviews to determine the best tests on the market. We looked through the reviews for accuracy, ease of use, and overall user experience.
We also asked the fertility doctors Amanda Kallen, MD, an associate professor in the department of endocrinology and fertility at Yale Medicine, and Allison Petrini, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Texas Fertility Center in Austin, Texas, for their input on what to look for.
If someone is exploring using a send-out test, I would look for a Food and Drug Administration approved test, performed in a , ideally with interpretation by a physician, Kallen says.
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What Treatment Options Do I Have For Abnormal Testosterone Levels
Artificial testosterone can be administered through different routes:
- Intramuscular injection: there exist different types of synthetic testosterone that can be administered intramuscularly. Propionate remains for a reduced time period in the body, so it has to be administered every 2-3 days. Testosterone enanthate and cypionate can be injected every two weeks . Conversely, testosterone undecanoate can be administered every 12-15 weeks .
- Transfermal : it can be administered in the form of a gel or cream daily, in the form of patches or implant.
- Oral : this is the least common of all routes, since it is detrimental for the liver .
Even though artificial testosterone can have many benefits, like muscle development or secondary male characteristics, one should keep in mind that, as with any other medication, it can have some side effects. Always follow your doctor’s instructions before taking this type of medication.
Testing For Sperm Quality And Quantity
About a third of all problems with fertility are due to male infertility issues. Often a man could be completely healthy, but produces poor quality sperm. Some men may have more serious medical problems, such as low male sex hormones, or testosterone levels.
The examination is best performed on a specimen less than two hours old and obtained by masturbation, with the entire amount ejaculated collected in a sterile container.
Standards vary from laboratory to laboratory, so it is best to have the analysis performed at the Hunter IVF andrology laboratory, where further tests are possible. If we find abnormalities, we often require repeat tests to assess the type and degree of the problem, and whether it is a persistent feature.
Cryopreservation of sperm is also available.
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How Is Hormone Testing Done
Any abnormalities or imbalance caused in the sex hormones can lead to fertility issues in men. In the hormone testing, the patient will be required to give a blood sample. No other requirement is needed from the patient. The blood sample undergoes a series of tests to obtain a complete hormone profile. The levels of the below-mentioned hormones are evaluated by the doctor that helps in the detection of infertility in men:
Follicle stimulating hormone or FSH is produced by the pituitary gland that is responsible for healthy sperm production in men.
Luteinizing hormone or LH is also produced by the pituitary gland that plays a key role in male infertility. LH stimulates the production of testosterone. Any rise in the level of this hormone could mean that the testicles are not producing enough testosterone.
This male sex hormone is produced by the testicles of a man. Testosterone is responsible for a mans masculine characteristics such as hair growth, bone, and muscle strength. The levels of testosterone can decline with age, but if there is an unusual decrease then it can lead to infertility in men.
In cases of complete testicular failure FSH and LH levels are elevated whereas testosterone may be low or normal.
Low levels of FSH, LH and Testosterone with low sperm count suggest hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
What Is A Sperm Count
Over the past 40 years, the average mans sperm count has dropped almost 60%, which is an alarming statistic. But what exactly is a sperm count? There are a couple of things that are measured medically to determine it.
Theyre also analysing the sperm size, shape, tail length and if they swim well, all of this data ultimately builds up what is known as a sperm count.
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How Accurate Is An At
I would consider at-home testing a potential supplement, rather than a replacement, for testing and evaluation in a clinic, Kallen says.
Petrini agrees, noting that measuring hormone levels alone isnt the best way to evaluate whether a woman will conceive without assistance.
There are many factors that may cause infertility in addition to hormones, including uterine abnormalities, endometriosis, problems with fallopian tubes, or even male factors, Petrini explains.
While these types of at-home tests have encouraged more women to talk and think about fertility , its best not to derive any conclusions from them, Petrini concludes.
Other Male Fertility Testing Options
- Sperm agglutination a test to determine if the sperm are clumping together, making it hard for them to move through cervical mucus
- Testicular biopsy removal of a small piece of tissue from the tubules in the testes, used to evaluate how well sperm are being produced
- Hemizona assay a test where a non-usable human egg is cut in half to observe whether your sperm can penetrate the outer layer
- Vasography an x-ray to see if the vas deferens is blocked or leaking sperm
- Ultrasonography an exam that allows your doctor to locate damage or blockage in the male reproductive tract
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How Do Hormone Tests Work
The simplicity of at-home hormone tests makes them an easy, effective option. After ordering your test, a box will arrive with thorough instructions to collect testing samples.
Depending on the test selected, youll be asked to take a urine sample or blood sample using a finger pricking tool.
Once you finish your test, youll ship your results to a lab for review. Results are typically provided online between 2 and 5 business days after the samples reach the lab.
Normal Values And Reference Range
It is very important to remember that normal values are not the range of values typically listed to the right of your test results on the official lab report. These printed values are the reference valuesthe range into which 95 percent of patients tested in that particular lab fall. This reference range can often include lab values that are well outside of the actual normal range for that hormone. For example, FSH reference ranges printed on lab reports often say something like 1.115.0 MIU/mL when in reality an FSH of more than 7.0 MIU/mL is considered abnormally high from a clinical standpoint. So do not use the printed reference ranges on lab reports as a definition of what is actually normal for that lab value. Instead, refer to the values indicated on this website or discuss your results with your own fertility provider.
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Fertility Blood Tests For Men Can Help Uncover The Causes Of Male Infertility
Fertility blood tests for men help the doctors at our Indianapolis fertility center determine what type of care a man might need. This bloodwork reveals information about a mans fertility hormones, which can indicate whether he has certain conditions that could prevent the conception of a healthy child. In addition to bloodwork, we typically do a during the initial evaluation.
Testosterone And Male Infertility
Androgens are male sex hormones. There are a number of substances that have male hormonal properties , but testosterone is the bodys primary androgen.
Androgens are important for the bodily characteristics we associate with being male , maintaining good sperm production, and facilitating normal sexual function. Normally in men, most testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells within the testicles in response to LH secreted by the pituitary gland. The adrenal glands also produce androgenic hormones, but these make up less than 10 percent of the total androgens in the body.
When you get a blood test to measure testosterone levels, the test result reflects the amount of testosterone that is circulating in the bloodstream. Since under normal circumstances most of the testosterone in the body is made by the testicles, the concentration of testosterone in the testicles is about a hundred times higher here than in bloodstream. These very high testosterone levels within the testicles are necessary for optimal sperm production. So in terms of sperm production, the testicular testosterone levels are what we are interested in. Under normal circumstances blood testosterone levels are a good reflection of the testosterone levels in the testicles. However, if a man is taking exogenous androgens , then blood testosterone levels rise while testicular testosterone levelswhich are more importantdrop significantly.
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Male Fertility Hormone Test Cost With Insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of the Male Fertility Hormone test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid might vary. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan before getting tested for Celiac disease.
Our Male Fertility testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, if the insurance company accepts to reimburse the cost, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and the CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Is A Hormonal Imbalance A Bad Thing
Hormone levels fluctuate over time, especially as someone ages. During a hormone imbalance, the body produces too much or too little hormone, which negatively impacts bodily functions. Hormone imbalances can also occur due to these factors:
- High or low levels of cortisol
- High or low blood glucose levels
- Lack of exercise
In males, low testosterone levels are referred to as hypogonadism. Men with low testosterone levels have issues with energy, strength, stamina, and sexual functions. To determine if a man has a hormone imbalance, doctors will perform various tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, a thyroid scan, and a sperm count analysis.
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Luteinizing Hormone Lh Test
If your LH Test report shows normal levels, which is between 0.7 and 7.9 IU/L for those between the ages of 20 and 70 and, between 3.1 and 34.0 for men above the age of 70 years, it depicts that you LH hormone if functioning completely fine and you are not in the fault of any male infertility.
Low levels of LH in men can be a cause of
- Low testosterone levels,
Read more about LH testing here.