Semen Analysis: Procedure, Benefits, Risks, And More

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

A semen analysis is a laboratory test to evaluate a man’s semen and sperm. Semen is the fluid that contains sperm. The semen analysis measures-

  • The amount of semen a man produces
  • The number of sperm in the semen
  • The motility (movement) of the sperm
  • The morphology (shape) of the sperm

The semen analysis is used to help diagnose male infertility. The semen analysis can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of sperm-washing techniques for in vitro fertilization (IVF).

In this article, you shall read about what is semen analysis, who is required to take semen analysis, and why along with its benefits, procedure, and risks associated with it.

semen Analysis

Semen analysis may be required for the following reasons:

Male Infertility

A semen analysis is often used to diagnose male infertility. The inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected sex is known as infertility.

Male infertility is responsible for about one-third of all cases of infertility. It can be attributed to a wide variety of reasons. A semen analysis can help to identify any potential problems.

Some of the factors that can affect semen quality include:

  • Age
  • Habits like smoking, drug addiction, and alcohol drinking
  • Environmental variables like exposure to harmful toxins or chemicals
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, or sexually transmitted infections
  • Medications such as certain antibiotics, anti-depressants

Vasectomy Follow-Up

Semen analysis is an important part of the follow-up for men who have had a vasectomy. The purpose of this test is to check that the sperm count is zero or very low, indicating that the procedure was successful.

There are several different ways to test for sperm count, but the most common is to simply count the number of sperm in a sample of semen.

This can be done manually under a microscope or using a machine that counts the sperm automatically. In most cases, a man will need to provide two semen samples at least six weeks apart to confirm that the vasectomy was successful.

In some cases, additional testing may be needed if the first two samples show low sperm counts.

Procedure Of Semen Analysis

The test is usually performed by a doctor or fertility specialist. It involves collecting a sample of semen and then assessing it under a microscope.

The following characteristics are assessed:

  • Sperm concentration: This measures the number of sperm in a given sample of semen.
  • Sperm motility: This measures the percentage of sperm that are moving.
  • Sperm morphology: It is the study of the shape and structure of sperm cells. It is an important aspect of male fertility, as it can give us insight into a man’s fertility potential. It could be used to diagnose certain types of infertility.
  • Seminal fluid volume: It is an important factor in fertility and reproductive health. It is the volume of fluid that is ejaculated during an orgasm. This fluid is made up of sperm and other secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate, and Cowper’s glands.

    The average ejaculate volume is between 2 and 5 milliliters. A higher volume of seminal fluid has been associated with a higher concentration of sperm and a higher rate of fertilization.

    Seminal fluid volume is affected by a variety of factors, including age, health, hormone levels, and medications. It can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as anti-androgens and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.

Outcomes Of Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis

A post-vasectomy semen analysis (PVSA) is a test that is used to check if a vasectomy has been successful in preventing pregnancy. The test is usually done around 3-6 months after the vasectomy procedure.

PVSA results are usually reported as a quantitative analysis, which measures the number of sperm in a sample of semen. A sample is considered to be normal if it contains less than 15 million sperm per mL of semen.

If a sample has more than 15 million sperm per mL of semen, it is considered to be abnormal and further testing may be needed to determine if the vasectomy was effective.

Outcomes Of Male Fertility Test

Male fertility testing is used to determine whether a man can father a child. The test can be used to diagnose fertility problems, choose the best treatment option, or predict the chance of success with fertility treatments.

Male fertility testing usually involves a semen analysis, which is a test to measure the number, shape, and motility of sperm. The results of semen analysis can help to identify issues with sperm production or function.

Treatment options for fertility problems will depend on the cause of the problem and may include fertility treatments, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

Benefits Of Semen Analysis

There are many benefits of semen analysis, including:

  • Helps To Identify Problems With Sperms

    The test measures the quantity and quality of the sperm in a man’s ejaculate. It can be used to identify problems with sperm count, motility, or morphology.

  • Used To Monitor The Fertility Treatments

    Semen analysis is often used to diagnose male infertility and to monitor the success of fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

    A normal sperm count is typically greater than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

    It’s considered to have a low sperm count when there are less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
  • Helps To Assess The Risk Of Genetic Disorders

    Semen analysis is a valuable tool that can help to assess the risk of genetic disorders being passed on to offspring.

    By testing the semen for genetic abnormalities, it is possible to determine whether there is an increased risk of these disorders being passed on to the next generation.

    Semen analysis is a relatively simple and non-invasive test, and it can be an invaluable resource for couples who are planning to have children.

  • Provides Help To Couples

    A semen analysis is a simple test that can provide a great deal of information about a man’s fertility. This might help couples who are trying to conceive get over their stress and anxiety.

    It can help couples to understand if any issues may be causing difficulty in conceiving.

    This knowledge can then be used to make necessary changes or to seek medical treatment, if necessary.

Risks Of Semen Analysis

While semen analysis is generally a safe procedure, there are a few risks to be aware of. These include:

  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to the substances used to cleanse the area or to the lubricant used during the procedure.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection when any foreign object is inserted into the body.
  • Bleeding: There is also a small risk of bleeding, either from the penis or from the urethra.

Overall, the risks of semen analysis are relatively small. However, as with any medical procedure, it is always important to speak with your doctor beforehand to make sure that the procedure is right for you.

Final Remark

In conclusion, semen analysis is an important tool for fertility testing. It can provide information about the quantity and quality of a man’s sperm.

While the test is not foolproof, it may give couples important information about fertility issues with the male counterpart, problems with conceiving, and picking the best treatment options.

It is advisable to strictly follow the medication and tips given by your doctor. Also, a little change in diet, lifestyle, and workout routine could bring major changes in your semen analysis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *