A semen analysis test is a simple measure used in many cases to evaluate male fertility, giving the couples the chances of getting pregnant. How is sperm analysis done? How do you understand lab results? All this information will be found in this article.
What Is Semen Analysis Test?
What is a semen analysis test? The semen analysis test is for men that are intended to check the quality of the sperm.
A sperm diagram, also known as a semen analysis, is a fresh semen test that is done after the sperm has been released. This method of collecting semen will usually be done with manual stimulation.
Based on this test, the doctor will evaluate the semen quality including sperm shape, sperm count, and motility under a microscope, to make a judgment about male fertility.
However, it is not possible to ascertain whether the patient is infertile through a semen analysis and needs to be combined with other tests and monitoring the body condition.
A semen analysis is performed for infertile couples directed by a doctor or man who has signs of infertility.
Currently, to assess the quality of sperm, people will need to rely on the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) Accordingly, the regulations are built based on male indexes with the same normal fertility with the condition is the man married less than 12 months or had a baby.
These can include:
- The volume of semen.
- Sperm count in a sample of semen.
- Mobility (the ability of the sperm to move around).
- Morphology (The shape of the sperm).
- There are cases that need to pay attention to the survival rate of spermatozoa, pH, and the number of white blood cells present in the semen.
What Should You Do Before A Sperm Test?
To ensure the most accurate results, exclude the factors that affect the results, before the semen analysis, the doctor will give some advice for men as follows:
In the 3-5 days period before the test, men should not have sex. The reason is the time to abstain from intercourse less than 3 days, it will affect the quantity and motility of semen.
Conversely, if men abstain from sex for more than 5 days, it is not good because this may cause an increase in the number of deformed sperm or death. Not only that, sperm motility will also be significantly reduced.
Besides, it is also important to pay attention to the spirit, because the mood and spirit are not good, the sperm collection process is also affected, affecting the test results. Keeping your mind at ease, avoiding excessive stress is the best condition to limit unwanted effects on the test.
Most importantly, when taking a sample of sperm, make sure the genitals have been cleaned and thoroughly cleaned before starting to take samples for testing.
Another useful advice for men before the test is often told by doctors is to drink plenty of water, to limit the concentration of semen.
Stimulants include alcohol, tobacco which will also affect the results, so men should abstain from sex before doing the test or do not test if there are stimulants in their body.
Those who are sick and infected needing to notify their doctor in advance may have to change the time of the test to limit the inaccurate results.
Usually, in order to have the most accurate comparison, according to the doctor's advice, men should conduct semen analysis tests at least 2 times, the duration of the first times and the second times is usually from 1 to 2 weeks.
How Is Semen Analysis Test Conducted?
How do you collect a semen analysis sample? Patients will first receive a special sterile sample vial. Next will go to the semen sampling room to conduct manual sampling (masturbation), and then use the bottle to store semen.
Normally, semen will not be collected from a condom (or a special condom is required). Before that, the doctor will ask the patient not to have sex for the prescribed length of time, usually at least 48 hours.
Duration a doctor tells a patient to abstain from sexual intercourse may vary depending on the particular situation, but usually no more than 7 days of love from the last sexual encounter. The newly collected semen sample needs to be capped immediately to be sent to the laboratory in about 2 hours and the test sample should be kept warm, should not be left in the cold because affecting the results.
Understanding Your Semen Analysis
1. Semen Volume
Semen is a mixture of fluids, which contains sperm also known as male reproductive cells. Mostly, the sperm will be produced by the secondary gonads, typically urethral fluid, seminal vesicles, prostate, the testicles alone contribute to the production of about 5% of all spermatozoa.
Measuring the amount of semen to be ejaculated is an important step of the semen test. Normally, each male ejaculation will have from 2 to 5 ml of semen.
2. Sperm Count
Counting the count of sperm per unit volume of semen after ejaculation is considered an important step of semen analysis. In which, sperm density is the number of spermatozoa calculated in 1ml of semen.
3. Sperm mobility
This is the ability of the sperm to swim, also known as the forward movement of the sperm. The percentage of total spermatozoa recorded is based on the number of motile sperm compared to the number of non-motile sperm.
4. Sperm Morphology
This is an assessment of the sperm's physical performance and shape. The abnormally shaped sperm count will be compared with the normal sperm count.
This result will be recorded as a percentage of the total sperm collection. Common abnormalities in the sperm are in the head or tail, affecting the sperm's ability to move and its ability to stick to the egg for fertilization.
The sperm morphology results, it is applied correctly WHO method, it will bring a positive sign of the sperm's ability to fertilize the egg in the test environment.
In humans, the number of spermatozoa produced with an abnormal shape is quite high, often from 86 to 95%. If the sperm in a man has a round head (the scientific name is globozoospermia) then these people will not be able to conceive a woman, but this is quite rare.
5. Semen pH
A pH test is intended to determine whether the semen is alkaline or acidic. Normally, semen will be slightly alkaline.
If the semen is acidified and has a low semen count, it is likely that a blockage has occurred in the vas deferens or a vasectomy. At this point, your doctor will need a more in-depth diagnosis to determine the condition.
6. White blood cells
If the white blood cell count present in the semen is large, this could be a sign of a genital tract infection. However, some cases can not identify the cause.
7. Evaluation of Antisperm Antibody
This is one of the important tests, conducted in a specialized laboratory, and applied according to the method recognized by WHO.
Anti-sperm antibodies usually appear after a patient has had a vasectomy. These antibodies attach to the spermatozoa and lead to reduced sperm motility, making it difficult to pass mucus in the cervix.
If the antibody is attached to the sperm, the receptor is covered by this antibody, preventing the sperm's ability to adhere to the egg.
How Do You Know If Your Sperm Is Healthy?
According to the World Health Organization 2010, some minimum values of normal semen analysis will include the following factors:
Dissolution time: From the moment of ejaculation, the semen will contain the observed agar seeds that will be similar to the jelly. About 30 minutes later, this semen will dissolve (liquefy) completely. If it exceeds 1 hour and the semen has not dissolved, it is a sign of abnormality.
- The normal values for pH in liquefied semen ≥ 7.2
- A total sperm count ≥ 39 million
- The volume of semen for a single ejaculation ≥ 1.5
- Sperm concentration: 15/ml or more
- Mobility: Must have at least 40% of sperm moving or about 32% of sperm swimming forward.
- Normal sperm shape must account for at least 0.4%.
- The rate of surviving sperm must account for 58% or more.
- Strange cells: In semen, in addition to sperm there will be strange cells, usually present with a density of ≤ 1 million cells/ml. If this foreign cell count is higher, a genital infection can occur.
If the semen results are abnormal, the doctor will ask the patient to do a repeat test about 2 to 3 times over a period of 2 to 3months to check if these abnormalities occur.
To get accurate results and avoid natural fluctuations and sperm quality, patients usually have to check from 2 to 3 samples over a period of from 1 to 3 weeks.
However, measuring the composition of the semen sample is only one suggestion of fertility in men. There is no definite chance of conception when the sperm count is low. If the sperm count is low but other factors such as shape and mobility are normal, it is still possible to conceive.
In order to understand test results as well as be counseled when there are abnormal signs when receiving the results, the patient should see a doctor for detailed instructions.
Currently, there are many testing centers and hospitals to diagnose sperm, you should choose reputable medical places to ensure the most accurate results, also consult experienced doctors.
If you still have questions and need more information, you can call hotline 19001717 for testing.
Hopefully, this article will be useful for you about how the semen test is performed, what it means, and how to read the test results.
For men at risk of infertility, should go to the hospital to be tested with related diagnoses and promptly treated if they have any abnormalities.
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The site cannot and does not contain medical advice. The medical information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals.