What is Tested in a Semen Analysis and Why

 What is Tested in a Semen Analysis and Why

03:45 26th March 2017 | Male Fertility

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Male infertility and the need for sperm analysis are not topics that are often mentioned, never mind openly discussed. However, in 40% of infertility cases in the USA, issues with the male partner are the cause of infertility. In Nigeria, male infertility is a major factor in about 80% of couples who struggle with conception.

But please don’t be discouraged by this information if you think are facing a challenge. Become informed, take control of the situation and plan for your future family by looking for the cause – with a semen analysis – so you can find the best solution as soon as possible.

What Can Cause Male Infertility?

  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation of the testes
  • Being overweight, underweight or smoking
  • Regular contact with chemicals or radiation
  • Hormones affecting normal sperm production
  • Genetic disorders, for example Klinefelter’s syndrome, which affects males
  • Prior invasive medical treatment such as radiotherapy, surgery or medication
  • Untreated infections could damage the tubes that transport sperm, leading to azoospermia (absence of sperm in semen)

Sometimes a diagnosis cannot be made, but there is still a chance to conceive. If you are not successful after a year, you should consider reproductive technology in the form of fertility treatments.

How Does a Semen Analysis Work?

When it comes to testing for fertility challenges in couples, it is much easier and less invasive to first do a semen analysis to test for problems with the sperm. The test will determine how much semen is produced and provide information on the sperm quality.

A semen analysis, also known as a sperm count test, is performed to evaluate the health and viability of sperm. Three major factors are measures:

  1. The number of sperm (sperm count/density)
  2. The shape of the sperm (50%+ should be normal)
  3. The movement of the sperm (50%+ should move normally)

pH level, sperm volume, liquefaction and appearance should also be normal.

If sperm are abnormal sperm, they will have trouble reaching and/or penetrating eggs, which makes conception challenging. Further tests can be done including genetic tests, hormone testing, urinalysis after ejaculation, testicular biopsy and antisperm immune cells testing. If a problem is identified, fertility treatment could solve it.



Preparing for Semen Analysis

Your doctor will give specific instructions before your analysis, but to improve the accuracy of your results, follow these instructions to get a good sample:

  • Do no ejaculate for at least 24 hours before the test (72 hours would be ideal)
  • Stay away from hormone medications (check with your doctor if you are unsure)
  • If you are taking herbal medications, inform your doctor as you might need to stop
  • Do not drink beverages with caffeine or alcohol and avoid all illegal drugs for five days

At Bridge Clinic we understand that fertility challenges, or possible male infertility, is a private matter and we therefore treat each case with the utmost confidentiality. We can assist with sperm collection, analysis and selection for improved pregnancy chances.

We recommend FertilitySure Lite for men. It is the first and most accessible step towards diagnosing fertility challenges. Men and women can be assessed separately, but because infertility generally affects both partners, we recommend that they are both present. Plus: Couples save 15% when undertaking an assessment together. One of the benefits of FertilitySure is that 9 out of 10 couples know what the cause of their fertility challenges are after a FertilitySure Lite assessment.

Get in touch to find out if you could benefit from a semen analysis via a FertilitySure assessment.

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