A semen analysis is the first step for men on the path to parenthood
It may be surprising, but both female and male issues can be responsible for your fertility struggles. In fact, male factors cause one third of infertility cases, while a combination of male and female infertility contributes to another third. As a result, the Fertility Center of Las Vegas (FCLV) includes a semen analysis as part of the infertility evaluation. This simple test can provide the information our Las Vegas fertility doctors need to help you welcome a baby.
What is a semen analysis?
This important test examines a man’s sperm and semen. The sperm is what fertilizes the egg, while the semen is the thick fluid that contains the sperm the body releases during ejaculation. Problems with either one can result in male infertility, but the sperm quality and quantity are especially important.
Our andrologists look at each man’s sample during a semen analysis to assess the following characteristics.
- Sperm count, or concentration, is the number of sperm per mL of semen. A normal sperm count is between 20 and 250 million sperm per mL of semen.
- Semen volume is the amount of semen in the sample. A normal volume is between 2.0 and 8.0 mL per ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology is the number of sperm with a normal shape. 5% of sperm should have a normal shape.
- Sperm motility is the number of sperm that are alive and moving. 40% of sperm should be moving forward.
Our andrologists will also consider how long it takes the semen to liquefy after ejaculation, determine whether white blood cells are present and assess the fluid’s acidity.
Any abnormalities in these areas can decrease the likelihood that a man’s sperm will be able to fertilize his partner’s egg. If issues are present, our Las Vegas fertility doctors offer highly effective male infertility treatments. Some common examples include in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
How can you prepare for this male infertility test?
Before undergoing a semen analysis, you will need to provide a semen sample by masturbating into a sterile container. Because our andrologists must examine the sample within two hours of collection, you will either provide the sample at our clinic or bring it to us within one hour of collection.
For the best results, you should refrain from ejaculating for two to three days before the test. However, you shouldn’t wait longer than five days because doing so can decrease your sperm quality. If you have other questions about how to prepare for this test, our Las Vegas fertility doctors are happy to help you.