About 15 per cent of the couples in Singapore do not get pregnant successfully within 12 months of trying to have a child. Infertility in 50 per cent of these couples is due to the man who may have a medical disorder. Infertility can be attributed to either the man or woman, or both (Table 1 shows the incidence of the causes of infertility). Therefore, medical investigation for infertility should involve both from the beginning.
In nearly all cases of male infertility, the man will not observe any obvious signs and symptoms. Sexual intercourse, erection and ejaculation usually occur without any difficulty. The quantity and the appearance of the semen will appear normal to the naked eye. Medical tests will be needed to tell whether there is a problem in most cases.
These tests are recommended when the couple fails to conceive after regular, unprotected sexual intercourse for 2 years, in the absence of any known reproductive disorders.