Recent studies have revealed that male infertility accounts for more than half of the fertility issues experienced by couples trying to conceive. Therefore, if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for over a year without success, sperm analysis may prove useful in identifying the issue.
Understandably, it can be daunting going for a fertility check-up. So, to help ease your worries, below you’ll discover everything you need to know about sperm analysis and the type of issues it looks out for.
What is the purpose of sperm analysis?
There are numerous reasons a sperm analysis may be provided, but it’s most commonly carried out for males experiencing fertility issues. It’s estimated that around 2% of men experience problems with their sperm including a low sperm count, poor mobility and issues with the size and shape of the sperm.
A sperm analysis is used to identify whether any of these problems are contributing to a couple’s difficulty in conceiving.
What type of things does it look out for?
Sperm analysis will assess the amount of sperm contained within every 1 millimetre of semen, its ability to move correctly, and its shape and size. From the results, it’s possible to establish whether the man’s sperm is the cause of a couple’s fertility issues.
Collecting a sperm sample at home
While sperm samples may sometimes be collected within the fertility clinic or doctors, patients may be required to collect a sample at home. If you do need to collect a sample at home, you’ll need to ensure it is kept at room temperature and delivered to the clinic shortly afterwards.
You may be required to follow a few guidelines prior to collecting the sample too. For example, you may need to avoid masturbating or having sex for a few days prior to the test. You’ll also need to avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, as well as avoid taking marijuana before the test.
If you’re taking any medications or supplements, you’ll need to tell the specialist before giving your sample. Finally, if you’re feeling unwell or overly stressed, you’ll also want to avoid giving a sample until you’re better.
For most accurate results, you may need to provide two to three sperm samples in two-week intervals. This is because your sperm profile can actually fluctuate on a daily basis, so an average may need to be taken from a few separate samples.
What if you have abnormal results?
If your sperm analysis samples come back as abnormal, it doesn’t mean you are permanently infertile. Instead, it simply highlights potential problems which could be causing your fertility issues.
After abnormal results come back, you’ll usually need to undergo further testing to establish the exact cause of the problem. Then, once that has been identified, treatment will be suggested to resolve the fertility issues present.
Overall, it’s understandable to be apprehensive about undergoing a semen analysis. However, the process is quick, painless and can help to provide peace of mind, as well as set you on the right treatment path to resolve any fertility issues that you may have.