As a Urologist with a special interest in men’s health and fertility problems, many men come to

see me when they and their partner are trying to have a baby and a ‘simple’ sperm test has

suggested a problem. Most men do not feel unwell and have never considered that there could

be anything wrong. They may never have had any contact with medical professionals and there is

a lot of misunderstanding about semen analysis results and what they mean.


It is important to explain what a semen analysis measures but also what it doesn’t. Most couples

appreciate the opportunity to at least discuss this and find out whether any further tests are

required to help explain the problems they are facing and know if there are any treatments

available taking into consideration the woman’s situation and implications for both partners.

This is all possible without having to go to a fertility clinic.


Problems include abnormalities with the sperm or even not finding any sperm at all. Some men

have problems with sexual function and often will have difficulty discussing them. Underlying

health issues are discussed or even diagnosed. IVF treatments may be discussed but it is often

not the first choice and is not the ideal option for many people. If the male partner’s situation

can be optimised this can help improve both natural and IVF pregnancies and may even reduce

the chance of a miscarriage.


It is an interesting time scientifically as we gain a greater understanding of men’s health.  We know

that new tests such as sperm DNA damage testing can identify male issues that relate to not only

pregnancy but also miscarriage and long term development of the child. As a father and husband,

I know of the desire for children as well as the loss and despair of miscarriage. Men are starting to

engage much more in their own health and ask questions about their fertility.


A recent patient sent me this note, “Thank you for giving us the time to listen to our concerns and honestly

helping us with our options. I struggled with what I was told by the GP and fertility clinic and felt so left out of the

decisions being made. My family and friends didn’t really understand and actually I didn’t want to tell them

everything. I’m delighted to let you know we are now 8 weeks pregnant, early days, but I don’t think we would

ever have got here without you. Thanks again from both of us.”


Dr Stephen Gordon