How do I get the potency of my sperm tested?
April 13, 2006 9:37 AM   Subscribe

How do I get the potency of my sperm tested?

And what exactly can I get it tested for? My main concern is that I've damaged my reproductive capabilities from excessive drug abuse (weed, smack, speed, LSD, and so on). Now, this abuse only lasted around 10 years, so some might think my concerns are trivial. But I'm still very concerned that my soldiers might not be as fit as they should be. I am healthy, drug free now though.

Anyway, I'm in Australia. I have no idea where to start with this. Is it the kind of thing you approach your doctor about? Lastly, to what extent and cost will all of this involve? I'd rather do thorough testing and leave nothing to chance. Um, yeah my partner and I may start trying to have children pending the results of this. I just want to be sure. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I'd suggest seeing a urologist or a reproductive health specialist doctor. They can do tests regarding sperm motility and size which might help you. But if you are trying to have kids, you could just actually try to have kids. Its the ultimate test.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2006

IANAD but methinks your best bet is probably a fertility clinic. They do testing of this nature literally all the time.

That being said, there is little linkage between drug use and fertility (unless it crossed the line into abuse severe enough to cause other non-trivial health issues). So the odds are on your side.
posted by 1024x768 at 9:58 AM on April 13, 2006

A doctor who specializes in fertility issues would probably be able to help you.

It might not be a bad idea to make a joint appointment with your partner and her OB-Gyn to discuss this issue. The doctor would probably be better able to refer you to a clinic and give you an idea how much it might cost.

Best of luck.
posted by luneray at 10:00 AM on April 13, 2006

In the US, you can go to the local CVS drugstore and pick up a home sperm-testing kit. It doesn't give you any quantitation, but it will say whether your soldiers are marching or not.

Concern about the genetic integrity of your gametes after heavy drug use is another matter, not easily settled by kits or fertility clinics...
posted by rxrfrx at 10:11 AM on April 13, 2006

Yeah, as rxrfrx mentioned, it probably would be more important to get a genetic test also done to make sure that you rule out any defective genes which may crop up and cause some problems in the offspring.
posted by JJ86 at 10:36 AM on April 13, 2006

Go to a urologist, who will send you to a fertility lab for sperm tests. They'll analyze your sample for factors like motility and morphology and send the the results to your doctor, who will discuss them with you.
posted by EiderDuck at 10:37 AM on April 13, 2006

Just go to your GP and ask for a semen/sperm analysis. It'll tell you quantity, motility, percentage of abnormal forms, etc.
posted by docpops at 11:27 AM on April 13, 2006

^ Listen to the doctor. ^

OTOH, you could just try for a few months and see what happens.
posted by raedyn at 12:39 PM on April 13, 2006

I'd second the cheap and pleasant alternative of frequent unprotected sex first. I don't understand this issue of "leaving nothing to chance." If you try for a few months and have no luck, it's time to start investigating fertility issues, but you're not really taking any chances in waiting on it. Or are you concerned about things like birth defects? I think your concerns are groundless, anyway, but maybe others will weigh in with contrary evidence.
posted by nanojath at 2:04 PM on April 13, 2006

I think you're miing up two different things with your worries.

If you're worried about your ability to get someone pregnant, you probably don't have any concerns. But if you're worried about possible genetic damage, that's a different thing.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2006

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