What are the important tips I should keep in mind before having a semen analysis done?
- Avoid ejaculation 24-72 hours before semen analysis
- Avoid consumption of alcohol, caffeine and drugs 2-5 days prior to semen analysis
- Refrain from any herbal medications
- Discontinue any hormone medications as prescribed
How can I have a good semen sample?
There are two main factors responsible for ensuring that the semen sample achieved is of good quality
- The semen is kept at body temperature. If it experiences high moderations in temperature, the results might be accurate
- The semen sample should be stored in desired condition within 30-60 minutes post ejaculation
How to determine whether my semen analysis is normal or not?
The sperm count (density) for a normal result is between 20 million to above 200 million. If the sperm count is low, conceiving will be a tough job.
Shape of Sperm
A normal result for sperm shape is when the male has more than 50% normally shapd sperms. However, if a man has more than 50% abnormally shaped sperms, he has low fertility potential. According to WHO, a morphologically normal spermatozoon should have an oval-shaped head and an acrosome covering 40%–70% of the head area. A normal spermatozoon should not have neck, mid piece, any kind of tail abnormalities nor cytoplasmic droplets larger than 50% of the sperm’s head.
Movement of Sperm
Sperm motility describes the way that a male’s sperm moves ahead the reproductive tract, navigates through the vagina, passes the women’s cervix and reaches the fallopian tubes. Sperm motility is measured in terms of %. This percentage indicates the percentage of motile sperms.
Grade A: Sperm with progressive motility. These sperms are the strongest and swim fast in a straight line and are denoted as motility IV.
Grade B (non-linear motility): These sperms move forward but tend to navigate in a curved motion. They are denoted as motility III
Grade C: These sperms have non-progressive motility since they fail to move forward despite moving their tails. They are denoted as motility II.
Grade D: These sperms are immotile and fail to move at all. These sperms are denoted as motility I.
A desired pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8 for a normal result. If it is higher than 8.0, the male may have some kind of infection whereas, if it is less than 7.0, the specimen might be contaminated or there is obstruction in the male’s ejaculatory ducts.
Volume of Sperm
The volume of sperm for a normal result is more than 2 millimeters.
Liquefaction of Sperm
The average time duration of the sperm to liquefy should be 15-30 minutes. If it does not liquefy within this timeframe, then the male’s fertility might be at risk
Appearance of Sperm
The color can vary from whitish to gray and opalescent. Semen with a reddish-brown tint indicates the presence of blood whereas; a yellowish-tinted sperm means presence of jaundice or a medication side effect of medications.
The semen analysis test delivers varied information that can help determine factors affecting your fertility. Therefore, male partners who have fertility issues should undergo semen analysis before it’s too late.
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