Genetic testing usually involves a test that uses your blood to check your DNA mapping or genetic information. However, you should note that genetic tests are different and not all can examine your genetic material, as there are different ways to check this.
Some may look at the number as well as set-up of your chromosomes while others will look for changes or mutation in certain parts of your genetic code.
Therefore, if you want to spot male fertility problems through genetic tests, you will have to let your health specialist choose the best DNA test for you. He/she must also disclose why they chose that particular genetic test. You can find out more about these DNA tests here.
Male infertility is the name of any condition that prevents a man from siring children. As much as it can be hard to determine its genetic cause, certain conditions can help increase your chances of finding out.
For instance, if you are couples seeking to have a baby, your fertility specialist might recommend you take a genetic test if you have one or more of these conditions:
- Very low sperm count or lack it of it in the semen
- Physical features that may imply genetic cause like small testicles or no feeling of vas deferens, the sperm tube
- Several miscarriages with your partner
However, the chances of finding any genetic abnormality for your male infertility problems are still low and high as 15%. This also depends on your lab results, physical examination, racial and ethnic background as well as your family history.
Recommendable Genetic Tests To Spot Male Fertility Problems
When it comes to spotting male fertility issues, you cannot just take any DNA test. You need the help of a professional health specialist to determine the best genetic test to take. Here are three common ones.
- Karyotype/ Chromosome Analysis– This usually examine the number and set-up of your chromosomes. It can determine if you are missing some chromosomes, or have extra copies. Likewise, it can tell if you have large pieces of the genetic code.
- Cystic Fibrosis, CF Gene Test– Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects the lungs. However, recent studies have found variants forms of it affecting male fertility only. Therefore, this test is supposed to check for any misspelling/mutations, in Cystic Fibrosis gene, which can cause male infertility.
- Y Chromosome Microdeletion Test– This test is to determine if there is any missing genetic information from parts of the Y chromosome, which are essential for normal sperm production.
Conditions Found By Genetic Tests for Male Fertility Problems
After the genetic test for spotting male fertility problems, your health genetic specialist can advise further on the prognosis depending on the results.
- Klinefelter Syndrome- This occurs when a man inherits an extra X chromosome, giving him XXY instead of the normal XY. These men usually have low sperm count or no sperm in their ejaculate. Besides, they are typically tall, with larger breast size, smaller testicles and low testosterone levels. However, the chances of finding this condition may be high as 10%.
- Cystic Fibrosis Gene Mutation- Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition, and if you have it, you will have to take the CF Gene Test and meet with a genetic counselor to discuss how it might affect your kids. This is because there are variant forms of this genetic condition that may affect male fertility only. It can also lead to other health issues, so do a follow-up on it, with your medical doctor.
- Y Chromosome Microdeletion– This is diagnosed when portions of your Y chromosome DNA are missing or have been deleted, specifically the areas that code for male fertility. Besides, this genetic condition has a high chance of being inherited.
- Other Chromosome Abnormalities– A karyotype test can also determine a balanced translocation, which is a difference in chromosome setup that can lead to miscarriages, infertility, or having kids with developmental issues or mental retardation. However, since these are rare condition affecting 2-4% of couples, treatment usually goes as per the case.
Therefore, it is advisable to see a genetic specialist before having kids. This way you can determine where the problem is, if there is any. Male infertility is real and can affect the health of your kids in the future.
For this reason, couples at times refuse to use the male sperm and opt for a sperm donor, fostering or adoption.
Otherwise, the right genetic tests may help spot male fertility problems, and determine how bad it is and how effectively it can be dealt with or treated. Besides, this type of genetic test can help you plan for your future as a couple as well as that of your kids.
Overall, always do a follow-up when it comes to male infertility. Stay in touch with your doctor, as the medical field is always developing to new technology that may be a course for better treatment of such genetic male infertility conditions.