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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).

When you walk through our door, you may have been struggling to have a child for a long time. You may have been told there’s no hope and you should give up.

Whether you have had a long journey or are just embarking – At Footsteps To Fertility Centre, we offer hope, empathy, personalized fertility care, and the latest technology in order to achieve your dream of having a baby.

Feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to walk with you through your journey.

Semen Analysis

The Bridge Clinic. Image source: What is Tested in a Semen Analysis and Why. Accessed via

What does the semen analysis test tell you?

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.

Abnormal Semen Analysis

If your semen comes back as abnormal, it is likely we will want to take a look at your:

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): a sex hormone that in males helps maintain adequate sperm production.
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH): a sex hormone that stimulates the production of Testosterone.
  • Prolactin: Used to help determine problems related to the pituitary gland and testosterone levels.
  • Testosterone: Low Testosterone levels can alter the production of sperm due to its central role in sperm production.
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): Low thyroid levels can cause poor semen quality, testicular function, and disturb sex drive.

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.

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