How it works:
- He collects a sample. Depending on distance from lab, you might be able to collect it at home and bring it in immediately (within one hour). They don't want it getting too cold or too hot. It is recommended you hold it against your body to keep it at the right temperature. The lab might insist he provide a sample in their office. They will give him a private room to "collect" himself.
- Your OB or Fertility Doctor can write the orders for the semen analysis. Otherwise, he can see a urologist.
- He might be asked to abstain for ejaculation for 2 to 5 days prior to the test. His doctor or lab will provide specific restrictions. However, they typically want you to have sex within two weeks of the test to insure the sperm are active.
What it shows:
- The results will show if he has a healthy quantity and quality of sperm.
- Volume of ejaculate (how much semen is present in one ejaculation): 2.0 ml or more
- pH (the acidity or alkalinity of the semen): 7.2-8.0
- Sperm concentration: 20 million per ml spermatozoa or more
- Total sperm count (amount of sperm in 1ml of semen): 40 million per ml spermatozoa per ejaculate or more
- Motility (percentage of sperm that can move forward): 60% or more with forward progression
- Morphology (percentage of sperm that have a normal shape): 30% or more with normal forms
- Vitality: 7 5% or more live,i.e.,excluding dye
- White blood cells (white blood cells normally aren't present in semen): fewer than 1 million per ml
Terms used to discussed results:
- normozoospermia: results are normal
- oligozoospermia: low sperm count
- asthenozoospermia: poor sperm motility
- teratozoospermia: sperm have more morphological defects than usual
- oligoasthenoteratozoospermia: signifies disturbance of all three variables above
- azoospermia: no sperm is semen
- aspermia: absence of semen
Bad results, now what:
- The information from the semen analysis will help your fertility doctor determine the best way to treat. Some situations require surgery, however drug treatments or assisted fertility (IUI, IVF) might just do the trick.