Semen analysis is an essential investigation for causes of infertility
Male factor infertility is a common phenomenon affecting approximately 50% of all subfertile couples. The diagnostic semen analysis examines several parameters to allow us to judge the quality of a semen sample. It looks at the sperm count (number of sperm), motility (how well the sperm are moving) and normal forms (how the sperm are shaped). These are all factors that if they fall below certain levels could have an impact on how long it takes to achieve a pregnancy or whether it is possible to conceive a child naturally. Even if you have already fathered a child we will still analyse your semen as male fertility can change. This may be due to age, illness or a change in lifestyle, therefore it is important for us to assess your current fertility.
Male factor infertility is responsible for 50% of the cause of infertility
When a couple has trouble having a baby, there’s about a 50-50 chance that the man has a problem contributing to the pregnancy. He might:
- Produce too few sperm to fertilize an egg.
- Make sperm that are not shaped properly or that do not move the way they should.
- Have a blockage in his reproductive tract that keeps sperm from getting out. If you might have a fertility problem, your doctor will want to perform a complete history and physical, as well as several tests to find out what may be causing your infertility.
Could semen analysis be right for me?
Semen analysis Semen analysis is probably the first test you will be asked to perform. Semen is the fluid that is released when a man has an orgasm. Semen carries the sperm in fluids that should nourish and protect it. You will typically be asked to provide a semen sample by masturbating into a sterile container. The semen analysis provides a lot of information about the quantity and quality of both semen and the sperm it contains.
Some of the things that are measured are:
- How much semen a man produces (volume)
- The total number of sperm in the semen sample (total count)
- The number of sperm in each milliliter of semen (concentration)
- The percentage of sperm that are moving (motility)
- If the sperm are the right shape or not (morphology)
How many samples will I have to bring in?
- We ask most men to produce one sample for analysis. You must not have sexual intercourse or masturbate for at least three days but no longer than seven days before producing that sample for the results to be meaningful.
- There are some times when a second sample may be needed. If this is the case, the doctor will let you know.