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19 June 2019| Last updated on 19 June 2019
To achieve your dream of parenthood, you have to check your fertility
Because 40% of all fertility problems couples experience is related to male fertility and the most important test for male fertility is a semen analysis, the results of man’s semen analysis can be related to their medical history, physical exam, etc.
Allowing your doctor to analyze and suggest treatment options will help boost your chances of conceiving.
But... what is semen analysis?
Semen is the fluid containing sperm (plus other sugar and protein substances) that's released during ejaculation.
A semen analysis measures factors of sperm health:
- Number of sperm: A normal sperm count is at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. Your sperm count is considered low if you have less than that.
- Shape of the sperm: The size and shape of your sperm affect their ability to fertilize an egg. Normal semen will have at least 4% normally shaped sperm.
- Sperm motility: This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally. The number of sperm that show normal forward movement in a certain amount of semen can also be measured. This is called motile density. Ideally, 50% or more of your sperm sample should be active.
- Fructose level: This is a measure of the amount of a sugar called fructose in the semen. The fructose provides energy for the sperm.
- Semen PH level: it should be between 7.2 and 7.8 to achieve a normal result. A pH level higher than 8.0 could indicate the donor has an infection. An abnormally high or low semen pH can cause sperm death and impact the ability of the sperm to swim quickly and or effectively penetrate the egg.
- Color and Viscosity: An evaluation of the color and viscosity (how thick the semen is) of the seminal fluid, and the time until the semen sample liquefies, is often included in a comprehensive semen analysis. The color should be grey-opalescent. If it appears red-brown, it may be an indication of red blood cells in the ejaculate (Haemospermia). It’s normal for the semen to liquefy in no more than 20 minutes. If it doesn’t liquefy, it may indicate the presence of an infection of the seminal vesicles and/or the prostate.
- Sperm Vitality: Sperm vitality relates to how many sperm cells are alive and intact. To determine sperm vitality, a dye is used where only the dead sperm are stained because they are not intact anymore. For a semen sample to be considered normal, the percentage of live sperm should be above 58% – below is referred to as Necrozoospermia.
- White blood cell infiltration: While it’s normal for semen to contain some white blood cells, many white blood cells in a semen sample may indicate the presence of an infection, which can decrease semen quality. It’s considered normal to be below 1 million white blood cells per milliliter of semen.