Normal semen analysis – procedure & test results – Dr Banker

Normal Semen analysis or male fertility test is used to understand the strength of a man’s sperm. With approximately one-third of couples suffering from infertility issues, a normal semen analysis helps them predict the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. If you and your partner are having trouble getting pregnant, performing a semen analysis is the first test a doctor will recommend you to take.

Male fertility tests help in analysing;
  • Fertility in men
  • The success of vasectomy operation
  • The scope for any intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination.

How is Normal semen analysis done?

During the sperm analysis test, they will collect your semen sample in a sample container preferably through masturbation at a dedicated semen collection room in the clinic. It recommended to practice ejaculatory abstinence for 2 -5 days prior to the test for reliable results.

How to prepare for a normal semen analysis test?

Before performing a male fertility test, the doctor will guide you through the procedure for getting accurate results. Some ways you can get accurate sperm analysis results are:
  • Avoiding ejaculation either through masturbation or by engaging in sexual activities at least 2-5 days before the test.
  • Avoiding consumption of tobacco, drugs like marijuana or cocaine, alcohol 2 to 5 days before you take the sperm analysis test.
  • Avoiding consumption of hormone medication. Inform your doctor if you are taking any kind of medication.

How is semen analysis carried out?

A semen analysis is carried out in two parts

Macroscopic Analysis:

1. Volume:
    • A normal semen volume is greater than 1.5 ml. If the volume is less, it may be diagnosed as Hypospermia. Hypospermia is a condition where a male produces an abnormally low volume of semen.
2. Viscosity:
    • A semen analysis sample will turn into liquid within 15 – 20 minutes. Lack of liquification may indicate male infertility.
3. Smell:
    • Any unpleasant or foul-smelling sample may show infection, which can be further analysed.
  • 4. Appearance:
      If the semen has an opaque or whitish appearance, it is normal. The presence of blood, extracellular debris, and pigments in sperm analysis may alter the colour, making it appear yellowish, brown, clumpy, or watery.

    Microscopic Analysis:

    1. Sperm concentration (million/m.l):
      • Normal sperm concentration is 15 million/ml and total sperm count should be 39 million. This is derived by multiplying the sperm concentration with the volume ejaculated.
    2. Movement of the Sperm:
      • Analysis of sperm movement; sperm motility is very essential as a sperm is required to travel or reach an egg to fertilise it. Sperm motility is categorized as:
        • Progressive motility
        • Non-progressive motility
        • Immotile sperm
    Sperm motility is measured in percentage. Progressive motility of 32% and progressive and non-progressive motility of 40% both are considered to be within the normal range.

    The shape and size of Sperm – Sperm Morphology:

    The reference value of morphologically normal sperm is 4%. If the sperm has an abnormal shape and size or if the sperm is immature it may reduce the fertilizing potential.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined standard semen parameters and their lower reference limits.

    What do abnormal results mean?

    When you get abnormal sperm analysis results, it could mean that the sperm is having trouble in reaching the site of fertilization or penetrating eggs.

    Abnormal test results could also indicate:
    • Male infertility
    • Possibility of infection
    • Hormonal balance
    • Diabetes
    • Genetic disorder
    • Radiation exposure / Pollution exposure
    Are there any risks to sperm analysis tests? No, there is no known risk to a semen analysis test.

    How to prepare for Normal semen test at home:

    Testing your semen fertility at home cannot be effective as it only provides results for sperm count. You will not be able to analyse sperm movement or sperm’s shape.

    While taking a male fertility test at home, you will get the results within 10 – 20 minutes. Even if your sperm count is above normal, it doesn’t guarantee that you are fertile. It is recommended to take a lab test by a medical professional to get a comprehensive result of your fertility test.

    A semen analysis requires the collection and careful analysis of specimens. Taking a male fertility test can provide information that can help determine the various factors that affect your fertility. You can also read about sperm analysis tests and why you need them. There can be many myths about fertility preservation which you can avoid by reading more on our blog. Being a parent is very fruitful, but infertility can cause problems during your pregnancy. You can try IVF to improve your chances of pregnancies. We at Banker IVF provide you with a successful and safe pregnancy with a high success rate.

    Frequently asked questions on Routine Semen Analysis:
    1. What is the normal sperm count to get pregnant? Usually, a normal count of sperm contains 40 – 300 million sperms per millilitre. A man needs at least 20 million sperm per millilitre for pregnancy.

    2. Does masturbation reduce sperm count? Masturbation has no long term effect on sperm quality or sperm count. But masturbation will affect sperm count temporarily. 3. What is a normal semen analysis report? The World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined the below range for normal semen analysis test results:
    PARAMETERS WHO Range reference: (2010)
    Ejaculate volume 1.5 milliliters
    Concentration in sperm 15 million per milliliter
    Total sperm count 39 million
    Progressive motility 32 percent
    Total motility 40 percent
    Vitality (Live sperms, %) 40
    Sperm morphology 4 percent
    Vitality 58% live sperms
    Pus cells 1 million/milliliter
    4. How semen is collected?
    During a male infertility test, a semen sample is collected through ejaculation by
    • Masturbation
    • Using a special non spermicidal condom
    • Withdrawal during sex
    • Stimulation via gadget aid(i.e.Electro ejaculation or vibratory)
    Masturbation is the most preferred common way to collect the semen sample and then the semen analysis is carried out.

    5. Is healthy semen thick or runny? Normal semen should be thick, whitish liquid. Runny semen can be a sign of either low sperm count or other fertility problems.

    For more information on infertility causes and treatments:
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