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Semen analysis

Research now shows that fertility issues are just as likely to be because of an issue with the man as because of an issue with the woman. If you’re part of a couple having trouble conceiving it can be very useful for the man to have a sperm test to better understand why this is happening. You can then move forward with more information on your fertility journey.

It’s important to remember that the majority of issues can be overcome simply through lifestyle changes and/or treatment. Our specialists are here to help guide you and offer any treatment you may need.

 

What is a semen analysis?

You may have been asked to come in for semen analysis on its own or as part of a couples fertility test.

Semen analysis looks in detail at the sperm count, motility and shape of your sperm and is carried out by our team of highly qualified embryologists.

They will take your sample and look at it under a microscope to record this information. You’ll then get a copy of your results to look over yourself.

What should I expect on the day?

You will be welcomed into our clinic via the reception area. Just let them know you're here for your appointment and you'll be shown to a private room with a sample pot. We ensure you are not disturbed and when you are finished leave the sample pot in there - the embryology team will retrieve it.

semen analysis
 

How much does a semen analysis cost?

A semen analysis is available at our clinics in:

-St Paul's
-Wimbledon
-Manchester
-Birmingham
-Bristol

The price includes a full copy of your report which tells you everything you need to know.

 

What should I do before my appointment?

It’s important to follow these instructions because if you don’t it could mean your test is invalidated or you’ll get an inaccurate result and may need to come in again.

Abstinence

Please abstain from ejaculation for no less than two days and no more than five days before your appointment.

If it has been less than two days or more than five days since you last ejaculated it could alter the result.

Illness

If you have had a fever or antibiotics recently this could affect your results. Please leave at least one week after your temperature is back to normal before the appointment.

Please ensure it’s been at least two weeks since you finished any courses of antibiotics. For longer-term therapies, you should wait one month after completion of the medication. If you’re not sure just check with your clinic.

Remember: it’s better to reschedule your appointment than come in at the wrong time and have to pay to do it again.

 

Semen analysis report: What does it mean?

Density

This means your sperm count, that is the number of sperms you have.
Low sperm count is known as oligozoospermia.


Sperm count

 

Motility

This is the ability for the sperm to swim. Poor sperm motility means the sperm do not swim well which can mean issues with reaching the egg.


Sperm motility

Morphology

This refers to the size and shape of the sperm. Abnormally shaped sperm can be a factor in male infertility. Low numbers of normal morphology sperm is known as teratozoospermia.
Sperm morphology

What else is covered in the report?

Volume: This is the amount of semen produced and for a sample this needs to be more than 1.5 ml. For comparison, a teaspoon holds around 5 ml.

pH: This refers to how acidic or alkaline the semen is. Semen is ideally between 7.2 and 8 which makes it slightly alkaline.

Appearance: Here the lab technicians are looking for anything unusual to the naked eye, the categories are clear, normal or slightly clear. Normal is the ideal result.

Viscosity: This means being thick, sticky, and semifluid in consistency. The ideal is normal, but it could also be classed as highly viscous or slightly viscous.

Liquefaction: This is when the gel formed by proteins from the seminal vesicles break up and the semen becomes more liquid. It normally takes less than 20 minutes for the sample to change from a thick gel into a liquid.

Agglutination: This refers to stickiness - what percentage is clumping together.

Aggregation: This is when sperm stick together by head or tails, which can cause issues.

Round Cells: These may be signs of infection - perhaps a previous infection you’re getting over or a current one. Worth looking into this further if there are more than 1 million cells per ml of fluid.

MAR Test: The test is used to diagnose immunological infertility, which means that antisperm antibodies are present that prevent conception from taking place.

Other areas that may be covered: Depending on your results the following areas may be mentioned;

  • Aspermia: absence of semen
  • Azoospermia: absence of sperm
  • Hypospermia: low semen volume
  • Hyperspermia: high semen volume
  • Oligozoospermia: very low sperm count
  • Asthenozoospermia: poor sperm motility
  • Teratozoospermia: sperm carry more morphological defects than usual
  • Necrozoospermia: all sperm in the ejaculate is dead
  • Leucospermia: a high level of white blood cells in semen

View example report (PDF, 700KB)

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