A semen analysis is a test that looks at a man’s semen and sperm. It is often used to determine if a man is infertile. Bedford semen analysis can also be used to check for problems with how the sperm are formed or to see how well the sperms move (motility).
Semen is the fluid that contains sperm. To do a semen analysis, a doctor will ask for a sample of semen. The sample is usually collected by masturbating and ejaculating into a special cup. It can also be collected during intercourse using a special condom.
The semen sample is then sent to a lab and examined under a microscope. The lab will look at the following:
- Sperm count: This is the number of sperm in the semen sample. A low sperm count may mean that a man is infertile.
- Sperm motility: This is how well the sperm move. Poor motility may mean that a man is infertile.
- Sperm morphology: This is the shape of the sperm; abnormal shapes may mean that a man is infertile.
- Semen pH: This measures how acidic or basic the semen is. A high or low pH may mean that a man is infertile.
The results of a semen analysis are usually given as a percentage. For example, a result may say that the sperm count is 60% motile and 40% non-motile.
A normal semen analysis can show the following:
- Sperm count: more than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen
- Sperm motility: more than 40% of sperm are moving
- Sperm morphology: more than 4% of sperm are normal in shape
- Semen pH: 7.2 to 7.8
If the results of the semen analysis are abnormal, it does not necessarily mean that a man is infertile. Some men with abnormal results are still able to father a child. The bottom line is that you can understand what the results of your semen analysis mean and whether or not you need to seek treatment.
There are several treatment options available for men with fertility problems. Treatment will depend on the cause of the problem; the options include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure in which sperm are inserted directly into the woman’s uterus.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is a procedure in which eggs are extracted from a woman’s ovaries and fertilized in a laboratory with sperm. The embryos are then implanted in the uterus of the woman.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): This is a procedure in which a single sperm is injected into an egg in a lab. The embryo is then implanted in the woman’s uterus.
- Surgery: It may be an option for men with certain conditions, such as blockages in the reproductive tract.
The success of the treatment will depend on many factors, including the cause of the problem and the age of the man and woman.
A semen analysis is a simple test that can give important information about fertility. If you have trouble conceiving, talk to your doctor at CARE Fertility.