A semen analysis is a basic study of a sperm sample obtained by ejaculation, which helps define the potential for fertility in men. It assess sperm quality according to reference values established by the WHO in 2021.
The probability of achieving a pregnancy does not depend exclusively on the results of the semen analysis, which is based on reference values which are not necessarily definitive. The medical history of both partners of the couple, the age of the woman or the time they spend to achieve pregnancy are factors that complete the fertility assessment of a couple.
If after a year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse, no pregnancy is found, the doctor recommends an infertility check-up. Since infertility can be of female, male or mixed origin, each of the two spouses is subjected to several examinations, necessary for the development of a complete clinical file.
The semen analysis must be carried out during a period of abstinence. The patient should visit the clinic after an episode of 3 to 5 days without intercourse. To comply with the hygiene protocol, the ejaculate is collected in a sterile container in a room specially provided for this purpose, after disinfection of the hands and penis. The sperm sample is immediately sent to the laboratory for study.
A semen analysis test aims to count the spermatozoa and to evaluate their activity, as well as their shape. To detect any abnormalities, the specialist first observes the number of sperm present per milliliter of semen. It is only at this stage that one can speak of azoospermia. Other essential criteria highlighted by the semen analysis are mobility and morphology of the spermatozoa.
In order to confirm the analysis of the semen, it is recommended to carry out at least 2 semen analysis tests spaced 74 days apart. This duration corresponds to the complete cycle of spermatogenesis.
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