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 analyzing the patient’s 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
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Radiotherapy
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Nicotine, alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Possible exposure to environmental toxins
  • Mother was taking medication during pregnancy
  • 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 to detect a possible infertility of the male partner. This test examines the sperm quality under the microscope and thus references the chances for a successful fertilisation. The specialist will check sperm count, motility and morphology.