A sperm analysis involves checking a sample of semen for overall sperm health. The process can help doctors to determine the underlying cause of a person’s inability to conceive, or it may confirm the outcome of a vasectomy. A sperm analysis tests for several markers of sperm health, including:
1.The number of sperm in 1 milliliter (ml) of semen
2.The size and shape of the sperm
3.The ability of the sperm to move correctly
People may require a sperm analysis for different reasons. Some individuals or couples will request a sperm analysis if they are having difficulty conceiving. In couples that have been unable to conceive, some estimates suggest that there is a male factor present in 40 to 50 percent of cases.
Up to 2 percent of men demonstrate issues with their sperm, resulting from one or a combination of:
1.Low sperm count in a sample of semen
2.Poor sperm movement, known as motility
3.Abnormal sperm size and shape, known as morphology
People may also have a sperm analysis to check if a vasectomy was successful. A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that doctors carry out for permanent male sterilization.
Usually, a doctor will require a person to provide a semen sample while in the doctor’s office. The most common way to collect a sample is for a person to masturbate and ejaculate into a sterile cup. The doctor provides a private room for a person to do this.
In some cases, a person can collect the semen sample at home. A doctor can provide a special condom that allows a person to collect a semen sample during sexual activity. Otherwise, a doctor may recommend that the person ejaculates into a collection cup while at home. When collecting a sample at home, people must remember to keep it at room temperature and bring it to the laboratory within a short timescale after collection.