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What is Semen Analysis Test ?

Sperms are the male gametes that are produced in the testis of male and semen acts as their vehicle in their journey towards female genital tract.

Semen Analysis Test

A semen analysis test measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of sperm in the semen sample. It is usually one of the first tests performed to determine man infertility problems. Sperm or sperm problems affect more than a third of infertile couples.

Having a normal semen analysis in terms of all parameters is essential for good reproductive potential for males. It has been observed that in 30% of infertile couples, solely male factor is the cause. Hence if you are having difficulty in conceiving, then your doctor might advice you to go for a semen analysis. It is a single test with several parameters that can assess the health of your sperms and your capacity to bear a child at large.

Semen Quality Parameters that can be assessed with a semen analysis test are:

Volume- It is a measure of the amount of sperm present in an ejaculation.

Liquefaction time- Sperm is a thick gel at the time of ejaculation and normally becomes liquid within 20 minutes after ejaculation. Liquefaction time is a measure of how long it takes for sperm to liquefy.

Number of sperm- This is the number of sperm present per milliliter of semen in an ejaculation.

Sperm morphology- This is the percentage of sperm that are of a normal shape.

Sperm motility- This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that can advance normally. Sperm that have low mobility or are immobile are not able to reach the egg to fertilize it.

The number of white blood cells- White blood cells are not normally present in sperm.

Fructose level- This is a measure of the amount of a sugar called fructose in sperm. Fructose provides energy for sperm.

Why semen analysis?

A semen test is performed to determine whether:

  • A man has a reproductive problem that causes infertility
  • A vasectomy was successful
  • Reversing a vasectomy was a success

How to prepare for a Semen Analysis?

You will be asked to avoid any sexual activity 2 to 4 days before performing a sperm test. This helps ensure that the sperm count reaches its maximum and improves the reliability of the test. If possible, avoid sexual activity for more than 1 to 2 weeks before this test. It is also best to avoid drinking alcohol a few days before the test.

Requirements for semen analysis

  • A period of sexual abstinence of 2 to 4 days before performing sperm count test is important
  • Sperm should ideally be produced through masturbation. Condoms are toxic to sperm and interruptions in coitus can lead to contamination with vaginal germs
  • Sperm should be collected in a laboratory vial of sterile pathology
  • The sample must be produced in the laboratory or brought to the laboratory for analysis within 30 minutes if it is produced elsewhere

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