Semen Analysis for Diagnosing Male Factor Infertility
Semen analysis is an essential test when it comes to figuring out why couples are having fertility problems. This noninvasive test, also called a sperm count, provides the physicians at our Tulsa fertility clinic with valuable information about men’s reproductive potential. In one-third of all cases, male factor infertility is the cause of a couple’s infertility, and in another third, a combination of female and issues are preventing pregnancy.
Preparing for the test
There are a few things men need to do prior to their analysis.
- Abstain from sexual intercourse and masturbation for two to seven days prior
- No gels or lotions during the collection process
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and recreational drugs for two to five days before the test
Men should also talk to our physicians about medications they take to determine whether they should stop taking them before their semen analysis.
Patients can collect the sperm sample at home or at our office. If collecting at home, men can masturbate or receive help from a partner to obtain a sperm sample. It’s essential to keep the sample at room temperature and deliver it to our Tulsa fertility center within an hour of collection.
What happens during semen analysis?
Once the collected sample arrives at the lab, andrologists evaluate it for several factors related to male factor infertility.
- The number of sperm, known as sperm count
- Sperm concentration, meaning the number of sperm found in a milliliter of semen
- Volume of semen
- Sperm structure, or morphology, to determine if sperm are normal size and shape
- Sperm movement, or motility
- pH level of the semen to check its acidity
- Amount of time it takes for sperm to change from a thick, sticky consistency into a liquid
- Vitality of the sperm, determined by number of live sperm in the semen sample
What do the results mean?
The results of a semen analysis tell our physicians quite a bit about a couple’s fertility. If the results are abnormal, this lets our staff know that there may be a male fertility problem. Here are some examples of abnormal results that are red flags for fertility problems.
- Low sperm count with less than 20 million sperm per milliliter
- Less than 60% of sperm in the sample with a normal shape and motility, or forward movement
- Semen volume that is less than 1.5 milliliter per ejaculation
If the results of the analysis are abnormal, our physicians may order additional tests to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Once our team determines what may be causing the fertility issue, they meet with the patient or the couple to discuss treatment options.
Our Tulsa fertility clinic diagnoses and treats male factor infertility
Men or couples who are dealing with male infertility can rely on the expertise and training of the physicians and staff at our Tulsa fertility clinic. Contact us for an appointment.