An analysis of the semen reveals the characteristics of sperm; its amount and quality in order to measure a patient’s fertility. Usually couples having trouble getting pregnant get themselves tested so as to know the cause of problem. Sperm analysis is a way of getting a good idea of the male partner’s sperm health.

What are the characteristics of a healthy sperm?

The health of the sperm is critical in order to achieve a successful pregnancy. A healthy sperm sample needs an adequate sperm count, motility and a good number of normal sperm in order to fertilise the egg.

When is it required?

A sperm analysis is usually performed when a couple is trying to get pregnant and despite trying for a while have not been successful. It helps in concluding whether or not the sperm quality of the male partner is affecting conception. In case of fertility issues, this test helps doctors determine the cause of fertility and helps them overcome problems, if any, through various treatment options.

How is the sperm analysed?

The first and most important step of sperm analysis is sperm collection. The patients coming in for a sperm analysis are told to abstain from intercourse for 2-3 days before the test. There are a number of ways to collect sperm samples but the most recommended way is masturbation. Lubricants must not be used as it may kill the sperm.

Further, the semen is stored at room temperature in order to get the most accurate results. Taking samples when the patient is stressed or ill could have adverse effects on the test results. Following this, the sperm is analysed and undergoes various tests by expert lab technicians to derive results.

WHO Standards for Semen Analysis:

Parameter WHO 2010
Volume 1.5 ml
Concentration 15 million/ml
Progressive motility 32%
Normal forms 4%

At IVI Middle East we use the standards outlined by the WHO, strictly while analysing sperm.

What do the results indicate?

The results are either normal or abnormal. A normal test result shows the vitality of the sperm with a good swimming ability, healthy sperm count and good morphology (normal shape). In case of couples trying to get pregnant, a normal result could mean the problem lies elsewhere.

An abnormal result on the other hand can have other implications. For instance, a severely low sperm count or low motility could mean the patient may have to undergo fertility treatments as per the recommendations and the fertility status of the patient.

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