Semen analysis test is a type of test that assesses the male sperm condition and also investigates cases of male infertility. Semen is a liquid that is released during ejaculation which is a mixture of sperm and certain other substances. The sperm in the semen is responsible for the pregnancy and thus has certain components which might be affected with time. To figure out the abnormalities in the sperm, the semen analysis is ordered by the doctor.
The semen analysis test is prescribed by the doctor in case a couple has difficulty getting pregnant because of some reasons or factors that are suspected in the male partner. Males who have gone through Vasectomy have to get the semen analysis test to ensure that there are no sperms present in the semen.
Why will you be prescribed to have a semen analysis?
The most important reason why doctors prescribe semen analysis is when a couple is having trouble getting pregnant. Even though both men and women can have problems in this situation, issues with male fertility play a part in half of all infertility cases. Male infertility is usually caused due to low sperm production.
Another reason why one might need a semen analysis done is to make sure that the procedure of vasectomy they had was successful. A successful vasectomy would mean that there are zero amounts of sperm in the semen. It is ordered to take a semen analysis test usually after 8 to 16 weeks of the surgery.
Components of the semen analysis
- The semen analysis test prices of testing the components of semen such as
- Its appearance: the appearance of cement is gray and opaque with a musty odor
- The consistency: semen is viscous inconsistency
- Volume: the normal volume of semen is 2-6ml
- Number of sperms: it is in the total amount of sperms present in 1ml of semen
- Motility: This refers to the overall movement of the sperm from the time of ejaculation. It is a critical aspect to consider for fertility.
- Morphology: it indicates the shape of the sperm
- Vitality: the total percent of live sperm in the semen sample
If there are any problems in the test results it would indicate that the patient had problems in the semen sample and can have imbalances such as hormonal imbalance, infertility, and various other conditions such as diabetes.
What’s the normal range of the components in a semen analysis?
The reference range provided by the World health organization for each component of semen analysis is given below:
- The volume of semen should be either 1.5 ml or more
- The total amount of semen ejaculated should be around the 39 million level [per ejaculation].
- The concentration should be 15 million sperm per milliliter or more
- the pH of the sperms should be in the range of 7.2 to 8
- The total percent of live sperm in the semen sample should be 58% or more
- The progressive motility of sperm should be 32% or more
- The total motility of the sperm should be 40% or more
- The presence of leukocytes should be less than 1million per ml
If there is any abnormality in the test results it would indicate that the semen of the patient isn’t in a healthy condition.
What’s the procedure of semen analysis?
To collect the semen sample during semen analysis, the patient is asked to ejaculate and collect it in a sterile, wide-mouthed dry plastic container.
If you are at the doctor’s office, you will be provided with a private room and a collection cup where you need to collect the semen sample after ejaculation.
There might be instances where you will be provided with an option to collect your sample at home. If you collect the sample at home you will be recommended to get it to your doctor or the lab within one hour and have to keep the sample at room temperature all the time. It is also recommended to not use lubricants while collecting the semen sample because they might affect the movement of your sperm.
You also have the option to take an at-home test to know the sperm count. However, this procedure won’t help you to measure other things about your semen such as the shape of the movement.
What to prepare before taking the semen analysis test?
There are a few things to keep in mind before you give the semen sample.
- You might be advised not to have sex or masturbate for 2-5 days before the semen analysis takes place
- To not avoid ejaculation for at least two weeks before the test is it can result in less active sperms in the sample
- Not to consume alcohol before semen analysis
- In case you are under any medication or herbal supplements you should let your doctor know about them.
- If you think drugs such as testosterone, anabolic steroids, marijuana, and opiates; will affect your test results
To get more precise and accurate results, your doctor may also ask for more than one sample which you have to provide within 2 to 3 weeks.
Therefore, keep all the things in mind before taking the test. The doctors will have proper medications in case you have abnormal sperm analysis results. Depending on the test results you might also be recommended by your doctor to take more tests such as Sperm antibodies, Sperm penetration assay(SPA), Hemizona assay test, and the Cervical Mucus penetration test.