What is semen analysis?
Semen analysis is a test conducted to check the sperm count, analyze the sperm health, its shape, and the DNA. A semen is a fluid which contains sperms, sugar and protein particles in it. This fluid is released during ejaculation. Mainly, semen analysis determines;
• The number of sperms present in the semen
• The shape of the sperm
• Sperm motility or speed
The specialist will conduct multiple tests to thoroughly analyze the semen sample. The specialist will usually wait for 7 days before conducting the second test. This is done because the sperm count can vary daily and if there is a gap between each test, the specialist can find the average sperm count.
Why does one need semen analysis?
When a couple is trying to get pregnant without any success, the doctor opts for a series of fertility test for the couple. And semen analysis is one of them. It helps verify if the male partner is infertile or not.
• To test the success of a vasectomy
When a man undergoes a vasectomy test, the specialists will conduct a semen analysis to check if any sperm is remaining in the semen. What happens during vasectomy is the doctor ties the tubes responsible to send sperms from the testicles to the penis. They are permanently sealed. It is a type of birth control method.
How should you prepare for your test?
Your doctor might probably provide you with a list of things you need to do before your test. And, it is extremely important to follow them to a tee. For accurate results, you must;
• Avoid ejaculating for a minimum 24 hours – 72 hours.
• Don’t consume alcohol, caffeine, drugs, at least 5 days before the test.
• Don’t take any herbal medicines prior to your test.
• Avoid any hormonal medicine if advised by your doctor. Also, you need to let the doctor know about all the medicines you are currently taking.
• Avoid smoking
How is it conducted?
You will have to provide your doctor with your semen sample for the test. There are four ways of collecting the sample; masturbation, sex with a condom, sex with withdrawal prior to ejaculation, and ejaculation triggered by electricity. Usually, masturbation is the best way to provide a clean sample.
It is extremely important to get a good semen sample for accurate results. Firstly, the semen must be kept at body temperature. If it gets too cold or warm, the results will not be correct. Secondly, the semen must be tested within 60 minutes of leaving the body. There are a few factors that can interfere with the test negatively. They are;
• If the semen interacts with spermicide
• If you take the test, i.e. provide the sample when you are ill or severely stressed
• Error at the laboratory
• Sample getting contaminated
To know more about it or for any other fertility concern, you can always visit your nearest Apollo fertility clinic for an expert opinion.