Semen Analysis Test
Semen analysis, often known as sperm count, evaluates the number and quality of sperm and semen. Semen is the thick, white fluid the penis releases at the peak of sexual activity (orgasm). Ejaculation is the name of this release. Sperm, which are male reproductive system-produced cells that contain the genetic material needed for childbirth, are found in semen.
A problem with sperm or semen may be one of the causes of infertility. The inability to conceive a child after a year of trying can be caused by issues including a low sperm count or sperm that don't migrate properly. A semen analysis can determine whether a sperm or semen issue is likely to be the root of infertility.
Other names: sperm analysis, sperm count, male fertility test and semen testing.
What is it used for?
A semen analysis is performed to determine whether a sperm or semen issue could be the root of infertility. The test may also be used to determine the effectiveness of a vasectomy.
A vasectomy is a birth control procedure that involves operating on the male reproductive system. A vasectomy prevents pregnancy by severing the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles (testes) to the ovaries, blocking their passage into the semen. In order to confirm that the semen contains no sperm, a semen study is typically performed 8 to 16 weeks after a vasectomy.
Why do I need a semen analysis?
A sperm analysis may be required if:
- You and your partner have been trying to conceive for at least a year with no results.
- You should check the semen to make sure there are no sperms present after having a vasectomy.
What happens during a semen analysis?
People must submit a sample of semen. The semen must be analyzed right away before the sperm begin dying for accurate results. Because of this, people will often give a sample in a private lab setting and gather the semen in a sterile container. Before getting the sample, you could be asked to urinate (pee), wash your hands, and clean the penis. This will help prevent skin bacteria from entering the sample.
To collect accurate results:
- Lubricants and saliva should be avoided because they can destroy the sperm.
- Make sure to collect all of the sperm. You should notify the provider if you miss even a small portion of it.
If you choose, you may be able to collect the sample at home while having intercourse by using a particular type of protection provided by the provider. However, one must maintain the sample at body temperature and transport it to the lab within 30 to 60 minutes of collecting it.
Individuals may be required to submit two or more sperm samples within a week or two. because the sperm count and sperm quality can fluctuate from day to day. Consult with the doctor if you have any questions or concerns about providing a sperm sample.
How do I prepare for the test?
For 2-7 days prior to sample collection, people must refrain from any sexual activity that results in ejaculating sperm. This will help to ensure that the sperm count is at its highest. The provider will provide you with specific instructions.
Are there any risks to the test?
A semen analysis poses no known risks.
What do the results mean?
The sperm and sperm analysis will include various measurements that describe the sperm and semen, including:
- The volume refers to the amount of sperm in the sample. Infertility may result from a low volume.
- The entire quantity of sperm in the sample is represented by the sperm count. A low count may make it more difficult to conceive with the partner.
- Sperm concentration quantifies how near the sperm are in the sperm. A low concentration may signal a problem.
- Sperm movement (motility) indicates the proportion of sperm that is moving forward. To fertilize an egg, sperm must be able to go forward.
- The number of sperm with a normal shape (morphology) is the amount of sperm with a normal shape. Sperm with unusual forms may be incapable of fertilizing an egg.
- The acidity of the sperm is described by its pH. Abnormal acidity might destroy sperm or impair their motion.
- White blood cells (leukocytes) in sperm may indicate that you have an infection that is interfering with fertility.
Even if some of the results of your semen analysis are abnormal, you are not necessarily forever infertile. However, it does indicate that the difficulty you and your partner are having may be somewhat due to their sperm.
To help identify the problem's cause and enable treatment, the doctor might prescribe additional tests. There are numerous potential reasons, including:
The cause of infertility affects the treatments. The healthcare provider could suggest that you visit a physician who specializes in infertility to assist in increasing the chances of getting pregnant.
Do I need to know anything else about semen analysis?
There are numerous at-home kits that only count sperm. Even though some kits offer more information than others, none of them can compare to the analysis the provider prescribes for you
With at-home self-test kits, individuals gather a sample of semen and use the kit to conduct an independent sperm count. Self-collection kits allow you to collect a sperm sample at home and mail it to a lab. These tests provide more information than home tests, but they do not replace a more comprehensive sperm evaluation ordered by the provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are normal sperm test results?
Sperm densities usually range from 15 million to more than 200 million sperm. Individuals with a low sperm count have fewer than 15 million sperm.
2. What is the normal sperm count to get pregnant?
When at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen are released after a single ejaculation, fertility is most likely.
3. Is the semen analysis test important?
One of the earliest tests to determine a man's fertility is a semen analysis. It can help determine whether the cause of infertility concerns sperm production or quality. Male infertility issues affect about half of couples who are unable to conceive.
4. Can a urologist do a sperm analysis?
Yes, the urologist will provide an accurate diagnosis, explain how hormones affect sperm production, and do a sperm test to understand what's incorrect.
5. Which foods are bad for sperm?
Apart from being harmful to your heart, processed meats like bacon, ham, salami, and even hotdogs can impair sperm counts and sperm motility.
6. Is male infertility curable?
The good news is that many male infertility cases can be successfully treated, enabling couples to realize their goal of having a baby. Male infertility can be treated surgically, non-surgically, or with assisted reproductive technology treatments.
7. Does the semen analysis test require fasting?
As per the doctor's instructions you have to fast for at least 8 hours before having the blood collected. It includes fasting for at least eight hours without eating or drinking anything besides water.
8. Should you drink before a semen analysis test?
Two to five days before the test, abstain from alcohol, caffeine, and illegal substances like cocaine and marijuana. As directed by the doctor, stop using any herbal remedies.
9. What can affect the semen analysis tests?
Heavy consumption of nicotine, alcohol, narcotics like cocaine or marijuana, and a few medicines, including long-term anabolic steroid use,chemotherapy, testosterone replacement therapy, some antibiotics, and some antidepressants, can all impact the results of a semen analysis test.
10. How much does a semen analysis test cost in India?
The test costs approximately between Rs. 190 and Rs. 950, depending on the city, quality, and availability.