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Semen Analysis Test & Treatment

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Semen Analysis Test & Treatment

What is semen analysis?

To put it simply, a semen analysis test, also known as the sperm, count test is a lab test where the doctors examine a sample of semen under a microscope. It helps to analyse the health and the viability of a man’s sperm which directly correlates to fertility. It shows how many sperm are released, how they’re shaped and how well they move.

Why would I need A Semen Analysis Test?

If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, it is likely that one of the first tests that the infertility doctor will recommend is semen analysis. While often the problem can be with both the man and the woman, male infertility can play a huge role in many cases. And in most of the instances, the problem is with sperm production.

How To Prepare for Semen Analysis

The first step during a semen analysis test is providing a semen sample. For this, the doctor will give you clear instructions, some of which may include the following:
  • Do not ejaculate for at least 24 to 72 hours before the test. This means that you should not have sexual intercourse for two to three days prior to the test. It is recommended that a semen sample should be taken not less than two days and not more than seven days after sexual intercourse or ejaculation
  • Do not consume caffeine, drugs, alcohol and avoid smoking at least two to five days before the test
  • You might be asked to stop certain medication before the test, including hormone medication. Your doctor may adjust your dosage, suggest an alternative, or may ask you to continue with the medication during the test. Discuss your medications with the doctor and do not stop taking your prescription medication without the doctor’s consultation
  • Inform your doctor if you take vitamins, any other supplements or over-the-counter medication
  • If you have been sick or had high fever, you must inform your doctor about the same
  • If you have been exposed to high heat environments at work or regularly use a hot tub or a car seat warmer, you may want to avoid these environments two to three months before the test.

What Happens During the Semen Analysis Test?

During a semen analysis test, the doctor will ask you to ejaculate in a sterile collection cup so as to obtain a clean sample. The semen needs to be examined quickly before they die and hence, the collection takes place in a private room in a laboratory. You may be asked to wash your hands so that bacteria from your skin do not contaminate the sample. To get accurate results, make sure that you:
  • Don’t use lubricants or saliva during the test as they can harm the sperm
  • Collect all the semen you produce and try to not miss even a bit of it
  • Are not ill during the test
You may be asked to provide two or more samples within the span of a few weeks as sperm count varies daily.

What Will a Semen Analysis Report Tell You?

A semen analysis report is difficult to understand for the layman. While the doctor will explain the report to you, it is important to understand the basics. Also, different labs and clinics will have different values assigned to what they determine as normal or abnormal. Therefore, never compare the results of two reports and always ask the doctors to explain it to you.

Also, keep in mind that semen parameters in a semen analysis report are based on WHO guidelines to understand the cause of infertility. It does not mean that you can or cannot become a parent.

Here are some factors that will be outlined in your semen analysis report:

TERMWHAT DOES IT MEAN?WHAT IS A NORMAL SCORE?WHAT CAUSES AN ABNORMAL SCORE?
Semen Ejaculate VolumeMaria AndeAmount of sperm ejaculatedrs2 to 2.4 millilitres of fluidStress and multiple other factors
Total Sperm CountTotal number of sperm in the semenAt least 20 million per millilitre (m/mL) sperm per ejaculateFactors such as chronic illness, exposure to toxic substances, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake, hormonal imbalances, ejaculation problems, infection, etc
Sperm ConcentrationNumber of sperm found in one millimetre of semen15 million to greater than 200 million sperm per millilitre of semenMay be correlated to a low sperm count
Total & Progressive MotilityPercentage of sperm that movesAt least 40-50% of the sperm should be moving, and movement quality should be a 2 or higher on a scale of 0 to 4Unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, medication, etc
Vitality or ViabilityNumber of live sperm in the semen sampleAt least 50 percent of sperm need to be viableCauses of low sperm count directly correlate with low sperm viability. At times, using lubricants or condoms can kill the sperm too
Sperm MorphologyShape of the spermAt least 4 percent of sperm cells should be shaped normally.Poor sperm morphology may be caused by the same things that can cause low sperm counts
LiquefactionThe semen liquifies to help the sperm to swim better which is referred to as liquefactionSemen should liquefy within 20 minutes of ejaculation.May indicate a problem with the prostate, the seminal vesicles, or the bulbourethral glands
Semen pHAcidic and alkaline nature of the semenThe semen should have a pH somewhere in the range of 7.2 to 7.8.A low pH value is accompanied by other abnormal measurements and factors including low volume of semen and low sperm counts
White Blood Cells (WBC)All semen has WBC, which are cells that fight infection in our bodiesWBC count must be less than 1,000,000 per millilitre of semenA high WBC has many causes which need further testing to corroborate

Semen Analysis Cost

The cost of a semen analysis test is not very high. It can be done at a very reasonable price and ranges anywhere between Rs 400/- to Rs 800/-. You can book a semen analysis test at Motherhood Fertility & IVF Centre by calling 08067238900.

To conclude:

Semen analysis is a crucial test that needs to be done if you are about to undergo fertility treatment. It helps with evaluating male infertility and advise on the next steps based on the results of the test. A semen analysis report provides details on sperm motility, morphology and sperm count and one must discuss the report with their fertility doctor to understand it better.

FAQs

Reading a semen analysis test report may seem very deterring and difficult. You can refer to factors such as sperm ejaculate volume, sperm motility, sperm viability, total sperm count, sperm concentration, sperm morphology, sperm pH, WBC count, and sperm liquefaction to understand the semen analysis report. However, values assigned differ from one lab to another, so it is recommended to discuss the report with your doctor.

The cost of semen analysis test is very reasonable and ranges between Rs 400/- to Rs 800/- at Motherhood Fertility & IVF Centres.

The normal semen analysis results include the following parameters at a normal range determined by the World Health organization (WHO)
  • Total Sperm Count in ejaculate – 39-298 million
  • Ejaculate volume – 1.5-7.6 million per ML
  • Sperm concentration – 15-259 million per ML
  • Total mobility (progressive and non-progressive) – 40-81%
  • Progressive motility – 32-75%
  • Sperm Morphology – 4-48%
However, these values may differ from one lab to another, and the values assigned by WHO are average.

Sperm count can be improved with foods such as eggs, spinach, bananas, dark chocolates, asparagus, etc. However, in some cases, the causes of low sperm count may be lifestyle habits and other such factors. Thus, it is best to check with your IVF doctor about the underlying causes.

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First step towards infertility is correct diagnosis and NOT treatment.