At least 20% of married couples experience problems conceiving, and this is due to the male partner in about 40% of cases. Male infertility has many causes and some of these such as varicocoele (hardening of the veins draining the testes) can be treated successfully. If male factors are involved analysis of the semen with a comprehensive sperm test is necessary to determine the feasibility of using IVF to facilitate pregnancy.
Several factors can affect your sperm count and other sperm test values. A man may have a lower sperm count if he has physical damage to the testicles, has gone through radiation treatment of his testicles, or has had exposure to certain drugs. A man with a higher level of oestrogens may have a lower sperm count. Find out more with this simple sperm test.
A sperm test measures the quantity and quality of the semen, and the microscopic sperm. Semen is the turbid, whitish substance that is released from the penis during ejaculation. Sperm are the cells in semen with a head and a tail that enables them to travel to the egg.
Iimmediately after ejaculation the semen is a viscous, sticky semi-liquid - after about 10 mins the semen undergoes liquefaction and becomes a free flowing liquid. Incomplete liquefaction is not necessarily a cause of infertility, but like an abnormal sample volume, it may give an indication to the functioning of accessory sex organs such as the seminal vesicles or prostate.
The typical volume of semen collected is around a teaspoonful (2-6ml) of fluid. Less semen would indicate fewer sperm, which would affect fertility. More semen indicates too much fluid, which would dilute the sperm, also impeding fertility.
Also called sperm density. The fewer sperm a sample has, the less chance a man has of getting his partner pregnant.
The % of moving sperm in a sample is known as its 'motility'. The more slowly moving or immobile sperm in a sample, the less likely it is that a man could conceive a child with his partner.
Progressive motility is needed in order for the sperm to swim their way up the female reproductive tract
Morphology analysis is the study of the size, shape and appearance of the sperm cells. The more abnormal sperm that are present, the lower the likelihood of fertility.
Pick up a sample collection container from your local collection centre.
Abstain from ejaculation for 3 to 7 days before collection
Follow the ‘seminal fluid collection’ instructions provided