Semen is the thick, white fluid released from the penis during a man’s sexual climax (orgasm). This release is called ejaculation. Semen contains sperm, the cells in a man that carries genetic material. When a sperm cell unites with an egg, it forms an embryo. It carries the sperm, fructose, and other enzymes that help the sperm to survive to facilitate successful fertilization. If you are having difficulty conceiving, then your doctor might advise you to go for a semen analysis.
Semen analysis is the first step in the medical evaluation of a male’s fertility. It is done to evaluate the quality of the semen and the number of sperms in it.
When is a Semen Analysis recommended?
A semen analysis test is often recommended when a couple is facing a problem in conceiving. While a woman may be required to undergo several tests, the male partner has to take a semen analysis test. It gives a detailed report about the various aspects of the semen, the quality and quantity of sperm along with sperm motility and morphology.
A semen analysis is also requested following a vasectomy 3 months after the procedure, to be completely certain that the man is sterile.
Semen Analysis Test Procedure
A semen analysis test, also known as the sperm count test, is the laboratory testing of freshly ejaculated semen. See to that initial few ejaculated should not get spilled as it contains the maximum number of sperms. If some find it difficult to collect the sample by masturbation, they can collect it by coitus interruptus. The sample should reach the lab as early as possible at the most less than 30 minutes. While transportation, try to carry the sample at body temperature either by keeping it within the hand or by keeping it inside the shirt to give warmth to the sample. If you collect samples after a long duration of abstinence, you will get a false-positive result of more immotile and dead sperm. If taken less than 2 days of abstinence, the volume of sperms may be minimal.
What are the preparations needed before the test?
The doctor will let you know the exact guidelines to be followed before opting for semen analysis. However, some general rules to be followed are as follows:
What does the Semen Analysis Test report show?
Sperm Count – A man should ideally ejaculate more than 15 million sperm in every milliliter of semen, which is the normal sperm count range.
Sperm Morphology – Every male has a certain percentage of abnormally shaped sperm. But if the percentage of abnormally shaped sperm is high, then the person is diagnosed with poor sperm morphology.
Sperm Motility – The number of moving sperm compared to non-moving sperm.
The Volume of Semen – The amount of semen that a man expels in a single ejaculate is measured and recorded as the semen volume. Semen volume of less than 2ml may indicate a lesser number of sperm and excessive volume may indicate diluted sperm.
Liquefaction Time – The semen is a thick gel-like substance. Normally, it should take about 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to liquefy.
Appearance – A normal sample has a grey-opalescent appearance
The pH Balance – To see if the semen is acidic or alkaline; it should be slightly alkaline. The normal pH for semen is around 7.2.
Vitality or Viability – Sperm viability refers to the percentage of live sperm in the semen sample. At least 58% of the sperm should be viable.
Fructose Level – Fructose level in the semen may be analyzed to determine the amount of energy available to the semen for moving.
White Blood Cells – A high level of white blood cells might indicate an infection.
Note: The most important clinical point is if semen analysis is abnormal, it needs to be confirmed with another analysis within a month or two.
Male infertility treatment at PFRC
PFRC has a male fertility center in Chennai called Alpha Male Health Clinic which compromises of expert and dedicated Andrologists and specialists to tackle male infertility. Our fertility specialists can definitely help you achieve parenthood!