Semen Analysis

Semen analysis is done to evaluate the quality of the semen and the amount of sperms in it. It is mostly done for the evaluation of fertility. Infertility affects a significant percentage of couples and can be quite frustrating and heartbreaking. To know the exact cause of infertility, various tests are done and semen analysis is one such test which is done for evaluation of male fertility. A semen analysis is also done to check the success of vasectomy.

Preparing for the test:

Your doctor will let you know the exact guidelines to be followed before opting for semen analysis. However, some general rules to be followed are:

  • Avoiding ejaculation up to 72 hours before the test.
  • Avoiding the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and drugs
  • Avoiding hormone medications or supplements.

The sample can be obtained either through masturbation or by having sex with a condom or collecting semen by withdrawing during sex before ejaculation. Of these methods, masturbation is considered the preferred way to obtain a clean sample. The sample should be delivered to the testing facility within an hour of ejaculation. The results can take anywhere between an hour to a week.

Parameters evaluated:

Depending on the necessities, one or more of the following parameters are evaluated through a semen analysis:

  • Sperm count: also known as sperm density, it is one of the most commonly tested parameters as low sperm count is one of the leading causes of infertility in men. The normal sperm count in a semen analysis should be between 20 to 200 million. A lower sperm count may be the reason for infertility.
  • Volume: semen volume is also an important parameter which is evaluated during a semen analysis. Semen volume of less than 2ml may indicate a lesser number of sperm and excessive volume may indicate diluted sperm. Either of these can make conception difficult.
  • pH: a semen analysis also measures the pH value of the semen sample. Normal pH values range from 7.2 to 7.8 and higher values may indicate an infection while lower levels may indicate a blockage in the ducts. Either of these factors can lead to infertility.
  • Shape: the test also evaluates the percentage of normally shaped sperm. If a man has more than 50 percent of abnormally shaped sperm it may cause difficulty in conceiving. The abnormalities in the structure of the sperm can be identified through the test.
  • Motility: it is another major factor which causes infertility in many cases. Normally, at least 50 percent of the total sperm must move after ejaculation. Lower movement may lead to infertility as the sperm may not be able to travel and reach the egg for fertilisation.
  • Liquefaction: Normally, it should take about 15 to 30 minutes for the sperm to liquify. It is important as liquefaction helps in the movement of the sperm. If the sperm does not liquefy quickly, it may lead to infertility.

Motherhood is one of the leading chains of maternity, childcare and fertility hospitals in the country. Our multi-disciplinary team of highly qualified and experienced specialists includes obstetricians, neonatologists, embryologists, gynaecologists, counsellors, paediatricians, etc. At Motherhood, we strive to provide all our patients with global standards of treatment and care.


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