This category of fertility EIA and ELISA assays contain tests for male and female determinations of fertility.
Healthy women are fertile from puberty until menopause, although fertility is typically much reduced towards the extremes of this period. The onset of puberty is typically identified by menarche and the presence of secondary sexual characteristics such as breast development, the appearance of pubic hair and changes to body fat distribution. The end of a woman’s fertile years typically comes somewhat before menopause, as fertility declines to a point where establishing a viable pregnancy is very unlikely.
Males who have gone through puberty should be fertile throughout life. Men ejaculate semen which contains sex cells called sperm. After intercourse, sperm travel to the egg through the female reproductive tract, typically causing fertilisation to occur in the fallopian tubes.
Fertility testing for men involves semen testing and genetic testing, as other factors such as impotence are obvious. Semen can be tested for sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, pH, volume, fructose content, and acrosome activity. Checks are also made to identify undescended testicles and retrograde ejaculation, along with medical history, such as cancer treatment, radiation, drug use, etc. In some cases the hamster zona-free ovum test may also be used to diagnose fertility.
Genetic testing and chromosomal analysis can rule out some other causes of male infertility, such as Kleinfelter’s syndrome.
A recent study identified epigenetic patterns in male sperm that may contribute to infertility.