Posted August 19, 2014
There are many reasons why couples have trouble achieving pregnancy. A semen analysis is one of the tests your doctor will use to evaluate your problem. Your test results will tell your doctor the number of sperm in your semen (your sperm count), whether they are normal (morphology), and how well they swim (motility). A low sperm count may be caused by certain medications or a medical problem such as a blocked duct, low testosterone level, or a condition in which sperm back up into the bladder. Fever can also reduce sperm count. Some men may have enough sperm, but their sperm may not swim well enough to reach the egg. Also, sperm that are not normal in shape may not be able to penetrate and fertilize the egg. Your doctor can treat many of these problems.
Your doctor will want you to provide a semen sample. The sample is collected by masturbation at your doctor’s office in a private, comfortable room. You will be asked to collect your semen in a sterile specimen cup. Another option is to collect your semen at home. You must deliver your sample to the doctor’s office within 45 to 60 minutes after collecting it. Speak with your doctor about instructions for transporting the sample to the office. If the results are not normal or the sample is not complete because you missed the container for sperm collection, this test may need to be repeated. Test results often vary, so you may need to do this procedure more than once.
A low sperm count is fewer than 20 million sperm per milliliter ejaculated. The normal range is between 40 million and 300 million sperm per milliliter ejaculated.
Motility describes the movement of the sperm. Low motility may reduces the changes of the sperm reaching and fertilizing the egg, especially if your sperm count is also low. In a normal semen sample, approximately half of the sperm have appropriate movement.
A normal sperm has an oval head, slender midsection, and a tail that moves in a wave-like motion. Sperm that do not have this normal share may not be able to swim effectively or penetrate the egg.
You should abstain from sex for at least 2 to 5 days before the analysis, but not longer than 1 week. Check with you doctor to see if there are any other recommendations specific to you.
The test results are generally available within a few days.
Semen Analysis appointments are made directly with our Andrology Department by calling 973-656-2823. Specimens may be collected in most RMANJ offices or at home if you prefer. However, based on individual cases you may be required to provide a sample in an RMANJ office. It’s important that the specimen in handled properly to ensure accurate results.
Please download the following brochure for specific semen analysis instructions: Scheduling & Collecting Semen Analysis