Andrology – the medical specialism that deals with male infertility
Andrology deals with male reproductive health and is a sub-specialism of urology. Andrology is the male equivalent of gynaecology.
The initial andrological evaluation begins with taking a thorough medical history. The doctor asks questions about childhood, adolescent development and sexual behaviour in the relationship (frequency of intercourse etc.). This is followed by a physical examination of the external genitalia and an ultrasound examination of the testicles, as well as laboratory tests (testosterone, FSH, LH and prolactin levels).
The medical history may already provide information on important possible dysfunctions. Therefore, tell your doctor if you ever had:
- Severe general diseases
- Mumps after puberty
- Testicular injury
- Inguinal hernia surgery
- Varicose veins/varicocele
- Medical treatments, because one or both testicles failed to move into the scrotum before birth
- Bladder infections
- Thyroid disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Nicotine, alcohol or illegal drugs
- Possible exposure to environmental toxins
- Mother was taking medication during pregnancy
- Frequency of intercourse
- Hereditary diseases in the family
The examination will focus on the analysis of the seminal fluid. A semen analysis (also called spermiogram or sperm test) is crucial in establishing a possible infertility of the husband. This test examines the sperm quality under the microscope and thus the chance for a successful fertilisation. The specialist will check sperm count, motility and morphology.