Handmade Polymer Clay Figure of Human Sperm Impregnate a Fertile Human Egg
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Fertility: how do you know?

By Chris Hart May 3, 06:00 am
How can a man find out if he is fertile without impregnating a lady?

Check your family's health

You can get a pretty good idea quite easily, just by looking at your own family and your health. For example, if there are no childless couples on either side of your family, no miscarriages, no genetic disorders, and lots and lots of healthy children, then the chance is high that you’re also fertile.

Even more so if your health has always been good, and you exercise regularly and eat well.
And you have wet dreams, get erections easily, and ejaculate when you masturbate.

For most men, just knowing all that is enough to stop worrying.

Take good care of yourself

But your fertility will probably be lower if you’re obese, if you smoke, or drink too much alcohol. Or wear really tight-fitting underwear. Or use anabolic steroids, marijuana, cocaine, meth, or opioids such as heroin, morphine or fentanyl.

There’s a chance you might be permanently infertile if you’ve ever had mumps. Or a serious urinary or sexually transmitted infection. Or surgery around the genital area, such as a hernia repair. Or an unsuccessfully reversed vasectomy. Or torsions of the testicles that weren’t treated soon enough. Or chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Sperm checks

If anything like these applies to you, then you could have your sperm checked. A laboratory can measure your semen volume, total sperm count, and concentration. They can also assess your sperm’s vitality, shape and size, and their ability to swim efficiently. If those are all normal, then there’s a high probability that you’re fertile.

Causes of infertility

You could also be tested to rule out genetic disorders such as Klinefelter's syndrome (an extra X chromosome), Kallmann syndrome (failure to start or complete puberty), testicular feminisation, testicular cancer, injuries to the testes, genital abnormalities, and pituitary tumours, for example.

But no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t be completely certain without a ‘real life test.’

Because no lab can rule out all the possible causes of infertility – some of them haven’t even been discovered yet!

Okay, I suppose that in principle a lab could fertilise an egg with your sperm in a petri dish (‘in-vitro fertilisation’, commonly abbreviated as IVF). But even if that was successful, you still couldn’t be sure that the embryo would grow successfully. Because there might be a fault in one of your genes that would prevent its development.

So ultimately there’s only one way you can be completely sure that you’re fertile: to actually have a child.

Are you worried about being fertile? Leave your questions below or on our forum. Or get in touch via Facebook. You can find us at Love Matters Naija and Kenya.

Did you learn something new?


Hi Jonathan, Azoospermia, also known as no sperm count, is a male fertility issue that occurs when there is virtually no sperm in a man’s ejaculate. This does not entirely mean that one cannot have children, it all depends with the cause. Some of the causes can be treated. It helps to seek the service of health provider to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 11:44 pm
I have been married since December last year and we have been trying to make a baby but have not. I get disappointed every month my wife sees her mensuration. What could possibly be wrong?
Hey Murphy, It could be a number of reasons. If you have be trying for between 6 months to 1 year you may want to visit a specialist who may carry out tests as necessary and prescribe treatment.

Hey Erick, it may take upto twelve months to get pregnant. However if you have been trying for longer than twelve months, it's important you seek the services of a Specialist Gynecologist who will be able to advice you and your partner on the next steps to take. In the meantime have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

Hey Liz, if you suspect you need fertility treatment it is important to seek the services of a Gynecologist who will be able conduct tests if appropriate and advice further if and what treatment you may need. 

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