This is the first, and most important, test performed on the male during an infertility work-up. Abnormalities in semen parameters (male factor) contribute to infertility in approximately 40% of couples. In many cases, this will be the only test required for the male. Sometimes, the semen analysis will need to be performed more than once.
The specimen is collected by masturbation into a collection container after abstaining from ejaculating for 2-7 days. It is best if it can be collected at one of our office laboratories, however, if that is not possible, it may be collected at home and brought to our laboratory within 1 hour of collection time. Be sure to record the time of collection. After collecting the specimen, keep it at body temperature by placing it in your shirt pocket or wrapping it in a towel. Do not expose the specimen to extreme temperatures such as air conditioners or heater vents. More information will be provided when the procedure is scheduled
Many aspects of the semen are examined during the semen analysis. Assessment of volume (normal is > 1.5cc), concentration/count (normal is > 20 million per cc), motility/movement (expect at least 40% to be moving) and morphology/sperm shape (need to have a t least 3% with normal shape according to strict criteria) is made. In addition, viscosity (thickness/ability to liquify), presence of bacteria or white blood cells and pH are observed.
If one or more parameters are abnormal, a repeat analysis will be required. If repeat test results are significantly abnormal then a urologic evaluation may be recommended.