the fertility advocate

Talking, writing, educating, and change making in the field of fertility for more than twenty years

The Semen Analysis Test: Magazines or Video?

Chances are, you or your man may have already had a semen analysis either at the doctors office, or perhaps you have used SpermCheck, the first over the counter semen analysis kit. Or you are perhaps thinking about it, because conception isn’t happening. For the guys this is the nitty gritty stuff that many just don’t want to do. But it is crucial.

Take the semen analysis test more than once. There are normal fluctuations in the amount and quality of the semen you produce. Take a semen analysis more than once, to establish your normal baseline. A semen analysis test reveals the volume of ejaculation, the concentration or density of sperm, their motility and the morphology (shape). It is common for over the counter kits not to give you morphology. You will need to see a urologist for a more complex reading. But over the counter kits such as SpermCheck can be a fabulous first alert system. There are minimal standards of adequacy for each parameter and anything below those stands is called “abnormal”. Let’s be clear here. An abnormal finding is an indicator that infertility may be a problem not a declaration of sterility.

So relax. These Standards Include: Ejaculate volume of between 2.0 and 5.0millilters. Sperm concentration of at lease 20 million per milliliter or a total count of greater than 40 million Motility: Sperm have got to swim. Quantitatively, doctors look for at least 50% to demonstrate any movement. Morphology. Doctors look for normal appearing sperm – checking for the proportions of head to body to tail. The most important is the calculated total motile sperm count. It simply means the total number of sperm multiplied by the percent of motile sperm. It’s that final number that’s going to lead to various therapeutic options – trying naturally, insemination or high -tech Intracyctoplasmic Sperm Injection (Injecting a Single Sperm into an Egg). In addition, the sample should be cultured specifically looking to detect sexually transmitted diseases. It’s essential to get copies of your lab reports and confer with your doctor. Further Male Fertility Tests Beyond the semen analysis test, there are advanced tests to assess sperm function that your physician may recommend. They are not necessary for routine evaluations. While an “abnormal” finding can result from any number of things, including a recent high fever or infection, semen analysis tests that don’t meet the minimal stands should trigger a more comprehensive evaluation. Get yourself to a qualified urologist for the next round if you first meeting with an over the counter sperm check sets off alarm bells.

Want to know more? Please read Part One of Male Fertility.

About Pam Madsen
Talking, writing, educating and change making in the field of fertility for more than twenty years
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