If you're having trouble conceiving and the doctor says it comes down to your sperm, all is not lost. When a couple's infertility issue rests with the man, the reason often has to do with his sperm: They don't move very well or there aren't enough of them, for example.

"A male factor has been diagnosed in up to 30 percent of couples seeking evaluation and treatment for fertility," said Sicily Garvin, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Kindbody, a health and fertility clinic in Atlanta.

While conceiving naturally in such a scenario might be difficult given reduced or abnormal sperm, new techniques are available to help couples achieve pregnancy, and it all starts with a semen analysis. Garvin said the four main categories fertility experts look at in a sperm sample include:

  1. Volume, or the amount of the total sample measured in milliliters
  2. Concentration or sperm count, which is the number of sperm, usually in the millions
  3. Motility, or the percentage of moving sperm
  4. Morphology, which is the shape and size of sperm

Once doctors know what is happening with your sperm, it's time