It’s All About the Sperm: Men’s Fertility 101
June is Men's Health Awareness month and is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone that infertility is not just a woman’s issue. Forty percent of couples experience male factor infertility, which includes sperm production disorders, structural abnormalities, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders.
Why Don't Men Want to Get Their Sperm Tested?
Many men hesitate to get tested because they feel that it is “weird” or unnatural, or “there’s no way I can have a problem with my sperm.” No one wants to think anything’s wrong—we understand that. Trying to conceive though, takes two cells and one of them is a sperm!
We All Need to be on the Same Team
“Infertility is a team sport,” says Dr. Joshua M. Hurwitz, a partner at RMACT. “Our diagnostic testing includes an extremely thorough fertility evaluation of all our female patients, as well as testing a semen analysis specimen from each of our male patients. It is important for patients to tackle fertility problems together—both medically and emotionally.”
As one of our RMACT patients put it: “Just do the testing.” Robert S., a patient of Dr. Hurwitz’s who now has a four-year-old daughter and is expecting their second child, explains there was an emotional benefit to sharing the infertility diagnosis. He says: “Both of our feet were in this pool together and I wasn’t watching from the outside. That helped a lot because I [knew] that I may not have been able to make it work had it not been for the help of RMACT.”
The good news is that men can improve the quality and quantity of their sperm in about three months through lifestyle changes such as improving their diet and minimizing or eliminating habits such as excess alcohol consumption and smoking. Basic sperm formation takes about 74 days and an additional 12 to 21 days for the sperm to mature.
Infertility is Not Sterility—We Just Need ONE Sperm!
When these steps are not enough, there is medical intervention. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple and non-invasive procedure for mild and moderate sperm problems, and if needed, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to treat severe forms of male infertility, particularly when there is a concern about the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. ICSI is used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
What's in the Blue Bag?
For your convenience, RMACT provides semen analysis kits at our offices and at OB-GYN's offices. The kits, which include mineral oil (recommended over synthetic lubricants for safety), a specimen cup, instructions, and a prescription to be signed by the referring MD. These kits allow you to produce in the privacy of your own home. Schedule a convenient time to drop off the specimen at one of our locations: Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford, or Trumbull.
3 Advantages of Working with RMA of Connecticut for a Semen Analysis
- In-house laboratory specialists perform comprehensive sperm testing
- RMACT physicians review test results and reach out to your doctor with any concerns, or depending on your preference can explain results to you over the phone
- Financial team conducts benefit verification to obtain insurance coverage for testing
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.