As a part of a standard infertility workup, sperm parameters should be tested with a semen analysis. Sperm analysis should be done after 3 – 4 days of abstinence and not more than 5 days.
A semen analysis is the most important male infertility test, providing an accurate measurement of the number of sperm, motility (proportion of sperm that can swim) and morphology (sperm shape).
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Before producing the specimen, there should be at least two to three days (but no more than five days) of sexual abstinence.
A semen analysis measures include ejaculate volume, sperm count, motility (movement of sperm), and morphology (shape of sperm). This test can diagnose a variety of male factor issues including Azoospermia, which is an absence of sperm; Oligospermia, decreased sperm numbers; Asthenospermia, slow-moving sperm; Hypospermia, low semen volume; or Teratospermia, which is an increase in the number of morphologically abnormal sperm, any of which can affect or prevent conception.
It also looks at a man’s PH level, viscosity (fluidity of the sperm), the presence of immature sperm, and presence or absence of blood cells.
If your semen comes back as abnormal, it is likely we will want to take a look at your:
Semen analysis does not provide information about the function of the sperm, but rather a basic understanding of its production and activity.
In some men with normal semen analysis, the quality of the sperm may still be compromised.
Although there is no perfect test to assess the quality of the sperm, a recently developed test called the sperm DNA integrity assay (SDIA) or sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) has been used to diagnose cases of unidentified male infertility with a normal semen analysis.