Identifying Sperm Abnormalities with a Semen Analysis
If you are struggling to conceive, determining the cause of infertility is the first step to beginning your family. During this process, it is essential to evaluate both partners for infertility factors with thorough testing. For the male partner, an essential step in this process is a semen analysis (SA) which evaluates sperm characteristics to identify abnormalities. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, Drs. Nurit Winkler and Marc Kalan can administer a semen analysis using the latest technology. Our practice, serving Encino, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, CA, has helped many hopeful parents grow their families through this and other services.
Factors Considered during a Semen Analysis
Several factors are analyzed during a semen analysis:
- Volume of Ejaculate:
- The amount of liquid that is released during ejaculation.
- Sperm Concentration/Sperm Count:
- The quantity of sperm in ejaculate fluid. This is measured by the number of million sperm per millimeter of fluid.
- Sperm Motility:
- The percentage of sperm that are moving and how well those sperm propel themselves.
- Sperm Morphology:
- The shape of sperm.
Preparing for Your Semen Analysis
For a semen analysis to be performed, a sample must first be provided. There are several important precautions you should take when preparing for your SA:
- Abstain from sexual activity (masturbation and intercourse) for at least two to five days before providing your sample
- Masturbation is the recommended method for collecting a semen sample
- Avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine, as well as certain medications specified by your doctor
- The sample must remain at body temperature
- Your sample will need to be delivered to our office within 30 minutes to an hour
During your consultation, our team can answer any questions you might have about how to retrieve a successful sample.
While abnormal results may mean that male infertility plays a role in your difficulty conceiving, it is not the only possibility.
Reviewing Your Results
The handling and interpretation of your SA can significantly impact the results. For this reason, at-home SA tests are strongly discouraged.
What Results Are Considered Normal?
- Typically, there should be approximately 1.5 to 4 ml of fluid released during ejaculation. Less fluid may mean less sperm is being released. More fluid could mean the sperm is being diluted.
- Sperm Concentration:
- A normal sperm count should be at least 15 to 20 million sperm per millimeter of ejaculate fluid. A low sperm count can contribute to difficulties conceiving.
- Sperm Motility:
- Approximately 40 percent of sperm should be moving. A sperm cell's inability to move properly can interfere with its ability to reach the egg.
- Sperm Morphology:
- Abnormally shaped sperm can still fertilize an egg, but an excessive number of these sperm cells can indicate an issue.
Normal results can typically rule out sperm abnormalities as a cause of male factor infertility.
While abnormal results may mean that male infertility plays a role in your difficulty conceiving, it does not necessarily mean that this is the only issue. There is more to consider than just the results of these four factors. Determining the cause of infertility is a complex matter, and further testing may be needed to reach a conclusion.
Serving Your Best Interests
If you are struggling to conceive, schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling us at (818) 946-8051. Drs. Nurit and Winkler take pride in providing industry-leading fertility care to families of all kinds.
Los Angeles Reproductive Center is a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.