The semen test

In case, if you or your partner are having difficulty in getting pregnant, it is important to analyse the quality and quantity of the sperm.

In case, if you or your partner are having difficulty in getting pregnant, it is important to analyse the quality and quantity of the sperm.

In case, if you or your partner are having difficulty in getting pregnant, it is important to analyse the quality and quantity of the sperm, in order to understand, evaluate and guideyou to the right treatment plan. The semen analysis (test) helps determine the total number (count), shape and motilityof the sperms. This test can help ensure the fertility status.

Some precautionary steps before the test:

In order to avoid a false result, it is necessary to follow certain things. It includes, 

  • Try to avoid ejaculation for 48-72 hours before the test
  • Don’t use alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other illegal drugs for a week before the procedure
  • Stop hormonal medications. In case, if you are under other medicines, discuss with your doctor to know whether you shall continue for the time being or not
  • At the day of the procedure, try to maintain your body temperature normal. Too warm or too cold will affect the test result
  • Its preferable to collect the sample in the laboratory where the sample is to be examined
  • In case of home collection make sure to reach the lab within 60 minutes after the semen gets ejaculate from your body
  • Try to keep your mind and body calm. Excessive stress or illness will affect the result 
  • For collecting the sample, it is better to use the masturbation method to avoid contamination
  • In case a person is finding it difficult to collect sample via masturbation, special condom is available to collect sample during sexual intercourse.

How to interpret a semen test result?

In the sperm test, you will be tested on the basis semen volume, semen appearance, semen PH, sperm count, sperm motility and sperm shape (morphology). Generally, if the sperm count is more than 15 million/ml with at least more than 40% are able to move normally for an hour after ejaculation and minimum 4% of sperms are having normal shape then it determines that your sperms are healthy. Movement of sperm is very important parameter, as it needs to travel a long distance to reach the ovum.

Also, the PH between 7.2 to 7.8 is ideal for active and healthy sperm. In case, the semen has PH greater than 8, that indicates infection and if the PH is less than 7, it means that the semen is either contaminated or probably there might be chances of blockages in the ducts. 

Semen volume should be greater than 1.5ml to have healthy sperm. If the volume is less, it will decrease the total sperm count, whereas if the volume is too high, then probably the semen is diluted, and affects the fertility. For a normal test, sperm count can range from 15 million to 200 million. Additionally, the semen should appear whitish to grey opalescent in colour. In case, if it has red to brown tint, then probably it is because of the mixture with blood.

What is an Abnormal Test Result?

Any variations from this normal requirement are probably due to,

  • Infertility
  • Infection
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Gene defects
  • Systemic diseases, or
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Stress
  • Obesity

Likewise, you can determine the sperm test to analyse your condition, which certainly helps and guides you to take the right direction. 

  • Nandhini, K.M. ( 13.12.2019 )

Special thanks to Dr. Amit Upadhyay (FNB (Reproductive Medicine), DNB (OBGY), FCPS, DGO.) for the expert advice.

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