Testing for male fertility can cost between $450 and $1,100, depending on your location and which clinic you attend. With nearly 1 in 7 couples experiencing infertility, this issue affects a vast population. There are several causes of male infertility, and therefore testing may not be straightforward.
The Cost of Male Fertility Tests
The costs of male fertility tests without insurance vary depending on which clinic you choose to attend:
Cost of Male Fertility Tests
|Consult with a specialist||$200-$400|
|Fertility-related blood tests||$200-$400|
If you have the semen analysis done at a facility that specializes in semen analysis (rather than a general IVF clinic), the cost is lower. Costs also vary from state to state, for example, for semen analysis alone:
Cost of Male Semen Analysis
Advanced tests can also be performed on semen, including a DNA fragmentation test. DNA fragmentation testing examines the DNA within the sperm. It looks for DNA breaks that could cause a couple’s infertility. This test utilizes specialized lab technology and is not performed routinely, costing up to $500.
Despite the hefty cost, most insurance plans will cover male fertility testing as long as it is medically necessary. It is essential to speak to your provider ahead of time to know what to expect regarding costs for male fertility testing. This is not the case for treatment, which is often not covered and can be very costly.
Male Fertility Explained
10 to 15% of heterosexual couples of reproductive age struggle with infertility. For 30% of the population, the male partner is the leading cause of their inability to conceive. While infertility increases as women age, the same is not true for men. While there is a slight decrease in male fertility after age 40, sperm quality is generally not an issue for most men until they are at least 60 years old.
For most men with infertility, the first sign will be an inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse. In rare cases, symptoms such as sexual dysfunction, decreased facial, or body hair or abnormal breast growth will be present.
In order to conceive, males must be capable of the following:
- Producing healthy sperm is a process that requires healthy hormone levels and functional testicles.
- Sperm must be carried from the testicles to the semen via passageways in the groin area. The sperm cannot travel out of the penis if these passages are blocked.
- There must be an adequate number of sperm in the semen.
- Sperm must be able to move appropriately to reach the egg.
If these factors are not in place, infertility will occur, and you will need to be tested.
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What is Male Fertility Testing?
Male fertility testing may consist of various tests, procedures, and investigations. The first step will likely be a consultation with a specialist physician, usually a urologist or a reproductive endocrinologist. This physician will ask you questions about your lifestyle and sex life and examine the testes for abnormalities.
Following a physical exam and thorough medical history, the most common male fertility testing will include a semen analysis. A trained specialist (called an andrologist) examines the semen under a microscope to determine the health of the sperm. The semen is collected after ejaculation, and the following sperm parameters will be examined:
- Sperm concentration
- Sperm vitality (the percentage of the sperm that is healthy)
- Sperm motility (the portion of the sperm that is moving)
- Sperm morphology (the size and shape of the sperm)
- The volume of the semen
- Semen acidity
Source: Reproductive Facts
Male infertility cases cannot be diagnosed with semen analysis alone, and up to 15% of infertile men will have typical results. Other tests that may be done include blood tests to examine testosterone levels and signs of infection and ultrasounds to examine the testes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Male infertility affects such a broad group of the population and can impact your quality of life significantly. Because male infertility is such an important topic for so many people and their families, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you access good-quality information on this critical topic.
Are at-home male fertility testing kits useful?
At-home sperm tests were first approved by the FDA in 2012, with various companies entering the market in the years following. Each home test measures different sperm parameters - some measure concentration, while others report only whether sperm are absent or present. Because of this, home tests give only a fraction of the information a formal semen analysis can provide. These tests may be a helpful first step for some people, especially those who live very far away from medical centers.
How do I know if I need a male fertility test?
Most heterosexual couples will conceive within six months of trying. If your partner is under 35, you can usually wait 12 months before seeking professional help. Other reasons to see a specialist include having had three or more miscarriages, irregular periods, a history of STIs, or if the male partner has trouble achieving or maintaining an erection.
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How is male infertility treated?
Depending on the exact cause of infertility, treatment ranges from simply assisting the sperm with their motility using intrauterine insemination (IUI) to IVF with donor sperm. Because of the range of possible diagnoses and treatments, getting a full workup from a trusted specialist such as a reproductive endocrinologist is essential.
Is there a way to prevent male infertility?
While many of the causes of male infertility are not preventable, some lifestyle factors are associated with infertility. These include smoking, heavy alcohol use, illegal drugs, and being overweight. Other exposures that can cause male infertility include pesticides, lead, cadmium, mercury, and excessive use of saunas or hot tubs. Avoiding these factors can decrease your risk of lifestyle-associated male infertility.
Does the COVID vaccine cause male infertility?
According to studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health on more than 2,000 couples, the COVID vaccine does not cause infertility in males or females. For heterosexual couples, if the male partner was infected with the coronavirus within 60 days of the menstrual cycle, there was a temporary decrease in infertility. Other studies have validated this research, confirming that the COVID vaccine does not affect male or female fertility.
How much does IVF cost?
If you are told that you need IVF, the costs can be quite daunting. A single IVF cycle costs between $15,000 to $30,000 on average without insurance. Most people will need multiple cycles before successfully becoming pregnant. Costs vary between clinics and states, with some states having requirements for health insurance to cover IVF. There are a few ways to offset the cost of IVF, including grants, IVF loans, and paying upfront for multiple cycles.
Male infertility affects a substantial subset of the American population. The inability to conceive can significantly impact people’s quality of life and health. Testing for male fertility without insurance can cost between $450 to $1,100 once a full workup is complete. Additionally, the costs of treatment can be pretty high. Luckily, male fertility testing is likely to be covered for those with insurance as long as it is considered medically necessary.
If you’re worried about the cost of testing for male fertility, Mira can help you offset other health costs. For an average of $45 per month, Mira gives you access to low-cost lab testing, urgent care visits, virtual mental health services, and discounts on prescriptions and gym memberships. Try Mira today and start saving!
Dvora is a recent medical graduate and current MPH student who is passionate about women’s health and health equity. She hopes to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is excited to join the Mira team in empowering people through healthcare. In her spare time she enjoys exercise, reading and spending time with her family and her dog, Dash.