Semen analysis and Infertility treatment3 min read

semen analysis and infertility

Semen analysis is a test of a man’s sperm and semen. Also known as a sperm count or male fertility test, its results show how many sperm are released, as well as how they’re shaped and how well they move.

Semen is the thick fluid that comes from men’s penis when they ejaculate during sexual activity. It carries sperm out of a man’s body so it can fertilize an egg and create an embryo (the first stage of pregnancy).

If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, one of the first tests your doctor will likely ask for is a semen analysis.
While both men and women can have problems, issues with male fertility can play a part in as many as half of all infertility cases.

And male infertility is often caused by low sperm production. You’ll probably be asked to ejaculate into a collection cup in a private room at your doctor’s office.

semen test analysis sample

Sometimes you can collect your sample at home. If so, you’ll have to keep it at room temperature and get it to your doctor or lab within 1 hour. Some doctors provide you with a special condom that collects your semen during sex.

Don’t use lubricants when you collect your sample because they can affect how easily your sperm can move around.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before giving the sample:


Your doctor may ask you not to have sex or masturbate for 2 to 5 days before your test to make sure your sperm count will be as high as possible.

Don’t avoid ejaculation for more than 2 weeks before your test. That can result in a sample with sperm that are less active.
It’s best not to drink alcohol before your semen analysis.

Semen Analysis Test Samples

semen analysis

Once a lab gets your semen sample, it will look at it under a microscope. This will provide a wealth of information, including:
How many sperm there is (concentration). A normal sperm count is at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Your sperm count is considered low if you have less than that.

How your sperm are moving (motility). Your doctor will look at how many sperm are moving and how well they move. Ideally, 50% or more of your sperm sample should be active.

What does your sperm look like (morphology). The size and shape of your sperm affect how well they can fertilize an egg. Normal semen will have at least 4% normally shaped sperm.

In addition to analyzing your sperm, your doctor will also find out other details from your sample, including:
Volume. They’ll note how much semen you were able to provide for your sample. A normal amount is at least 1.5 milliliters.

If your sample is less than that, it could mean that your seminal vesicles aren’t making enough fluid or are blocked. You could also have a problem with your Prostrate.

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