Semen Analysis

A semen analysis checks the following:

  • Motility: The sperm’s swimming ability.
  • Morphology: The shape of the sperm.
  • Quantity: The number of individual sperm.
  • Vitality: The capacity of the sperm to live and endure.
Why It Is Done

Evaluating sperm can often explain a couple’s inability to conceive, and also determine what treatment options are reasonable. Depending on the results of the semen analysis, your doctor may recommend additional tests to help identify the cause of infertility.

How It Is Done

A semen sample is usually collected by masturbation and the ejaculate is collected in a sterile specimen container. No lubricants should be used. There are also specially designed condom, which allow for collection of a semen sample during intercourse.

To ensure the most accurate results, two to three days of abstinence are recommended before obtaining a semen sample for analysis. Longer periods of abstinence may increase the count, but the percentage of sperm that are actively motile may decrease. On the other hand, shorter periods of abstinence may result in some decrease in the number of sperm present.

Once the sample has been collected it should be kept close to body temperature but not above, and should be delivered to the lab within 30 minutes.

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