The Semen Analysis

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Making a baby requires both a healthy egg and healthy sperm. One of the primary ways we test for male fertility is with a semen analysis. This involves making a semen sample and having this inspected under a microscope. The primary factors that doctors look at in the semen analysis include an assessment of: volume, concentration, motility and morphology.

Some general guidelines for semen testing include:

  • Duration of abstinence: A minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 5 days of abstinence is ideal. Before 2 days, counts and volume may be lower than is truly representative; the testicle needs time to “fill up the bank”. After 5 days the sperm start to die off.
  • Timing of inspection: Samples need to be processed within 60 minutes of being produced; after this window, sample results may become unreliable.
  • Masturbation is the preferred method of collection.
  • We do not recommend the use of lubricants. If lubrication is necessary, we recommend the use of a sperm friendly lubricant. Try to avoid contamination of your specimen with lubricant.