Mayo Clinic: Men’s Health Center


Testosterone. A testosterone test is a blood test that measures the amount of the hormone, testosterone, in your blood. Testosterone contributes to several important functions in your body including sperm production, muscle gain, sexual function, sex drive, bone health, energy, concentration, and other symptoms.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). FSH is a hormone that is released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It provides valuable information about how well the testicles are making sperm. Having too little or too much FSH can affect sperm production, making it difficult to get pregnant.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH). LH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It provides valuable information about how well the testicles are making testosterone.

Estradiol. Estrogen is typically thought of as a "female" hormone, but a particular form of estrogen called estradiol is important for male sexuality. Estradiol, in balance with testosterone, helps control sex drive, the ability to get an erection, and the production of sperm. While testosterone naturally decreases as men age, estrogen increases. A small amount of estrogen in necessary in men to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. Its main role is to help women produce milk after childbirth. While the specific function in men is not well-understood, it has been shown to play a role in sexual satisfaction and ejaculation.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). TSH is produced by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It regulates the amount of hormones released by the thyroid. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck that produces hormones that control metabolism and growth. TSH may be increased in cases of hypothyroidism (when the thyroid produces too few hormones), which can also be associated with low testosterone levels.

Karyotype Test. Karyotype is a blood test to identify and evaluate the size, shape and number of chromosomes a person has. Some men are born with an extra X chromosome (XXY), a condition called Klinefelter syndrome that can lead to infertility.

Y Chromosome Microdeletion Test. Y Chromosome Microdeletion, is a common genetic cause of male infertility. It is caused by the genetic re-shuffling of the Y chromosome (the male chromosome). When certain portions of the Y chromosome are missing, men will typically not have any symptoms other than infertility.

Cystic Fibrosis Genetic Testing. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body. It can be associated with male infertility.

DNA Fragmentation Index Testing. DNA fragmentation index testing measures the quality of the DNA contained within sperm. It is reported as a percentage of sperm DNA that has "breaks" in the DNA strands. Increased DNA fragmentation rates may make it more difficult to achieve a successful pregnancy both naturally, and using artificial reproductive technology such as intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization.

Post-Ejaculatory Urinalysis. Post-ejaculatory urinalysis is a urine test that looks for sperm in the urine after ejaculation. When a man ejaculates sperm passes from the testicles to the penis. Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of emerging through the penis during orgasm.

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