What Is Semen Analysis? What Is Its Importance?

Semen analysis is the measure of the health and viability of sperms produced by males. The sperm count test is another name for semen analysis. Sperms are the male reproductive cells that fuse with the ovum and help in the formation of a human embryo that develops into a child. Through semen analysis, one can determine the number, shape, and motility of sperms.

Collection of the sample

Sperm count varies from one day to another and therefore American Association for Clinical Chemistry suggests conducting tests seven days or several months apart. Maturation, sex with a condom, or sex with withdrawal before ejaculation (coitus interrupts) helps in the collection of the semen sample. Semen samples need to be kept at body temperature. Too high or too low temperature can affect the results. Furthermore, the transportation of the semen sample must be within 30 to 60 minutes after it is collected.

Semen collection

Normal results of semen analysis 

The shape, pH, volume, motility, number, appearance, and liquefaction are the parameters that determine the results of semen analysis. Abnormal results may indicate infertility, genetic defects, hormonal infection, diseases, or infection.

  1. The shape of 50 percent sperm must be normal. Abnormally shaped sperms of more than 50 percent indicate reduced fertility.
  2. More than 50 percent of sperms must have normal motility after ejaculation. Sperm motility is essential as sperms need to travel to the female reproductive tract for fertilization.
  3. The sample must have a pH between 7.2 to 7.8. pH higher than 8.0 indicates infection. However, a pH lower than 7.0 indicates blockage of ejaculatory ducts or contamination of the sample.
  4. The normal sperm count/ sperm density is between 20 million to 200 million. Less sperm count indicates difficulty in conceiving.
  5. Semen samples must take 15 to 30 minutes to liquefy or turn to a watery consistency. Increased liquefaction time indicates difficulty with fertility.

Importance of semen analysis 

  1. Abnormal results of semen analysis may indicate infertility, genetic defects, hormonal infection, exposure to radiation, diseases, or infection.
  2. Infertility in males can be detected by the semen analysis. Hence, couples having problems conceiving should take semen analysis. It determines the reason for infertility such as sperm dysfunction or low sperm count.
  3. Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for birth control that involves permanent sealing the tubes that transport sperm. Men after a vasectomy should take semen analysis to ensure its success.

Semen analysis

Conclusion 

The sperm count test is another name for semen analysis. It helps to measure the health and viability of sperms produced by males. Maturation, sex with a condom, or sex with withdrawal before ejaculation (coitus interrupts) helps in the collection of the semen sample. Semen analysis helps in the detection of infertility, genetic defects, hormonal infection, exposure to radiation, diseases, or sperm dysfunction. That’s why couples having problems conceiving take semen analysis tests. In addition, men after a vasectomy should take semen analysis to ensure its success. A doctor may suggest additional tests such as genetic tests, urinalysis, or hormone tests after abnormal results of semen analysis.

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