Checking my Sperm Count

Sperm analysis

Male Fertility Testing

Did you know that male factor infertility now accounts for approximately 40% of infertility in couples?  It can be hard to imagine that sperm issues can be so common but this is why checking the sperm is one of the first tests to be ordered in couples that are having a hard time getting pregnant.  It’s not invasive, it is generally easy to perform, and it is the best way to evaluate the male partner for male factor infertility.  The test that is used to check a sperm count is called a semen analysis.   

How is it done?  

In order to test your sperm, your doctor will ask you to provide a semen sample.  Usually the sample is provided by masturbation with clean hands and a clean penis after 2-5 days of abstinence.  Sometimes you will collect into a specimen cup in a private room at your doctor’s office. Other times you might collect your sample at home and bring it to the doctor’s office or laboratory within 60 minutes.  

What does a semen analysis test for?  

A semen analysis usually measures the semen volume and pH and also includes a microscopic evaluation of the sperm concentration (number of sperm), sperm morphology (size, shape and appearance), sperm motility (movement), and white blood cell count (possible infection). 

The most important value in a semen analysis that guides treatment decisions is the total motile count or how many million swimming sperm are in the ejaculate.  Sperm that are moving with a purpose are the winners in the bunch.  Those that aren’t moving or are only twitching are not going to get the job done.   

Another important value is the morphology.  Poor shaped sperm have a difficult time fertilizing the egg which can also lead to fertility issues.  A good semen sample will have a reasonable number of handsome looking sperm.   

If my sperm sample is not good, does that mean I can’t have children? 

Absolutely not.  Of course you can have children.  You might need help, but infertility doctors work with male factor patients every single day and couples have babies with this condition every single day.    

Also, it is really important to know that a semen analysis has a significant amount of variability.  It is essentially a snapshot in time.  One poor semen analysis might reflect recent sickness, or fever, or some other exposure that affected the spermand the next test can be completely normal.  Also, there is no value (except 0) below which a man cannot have children. 

Sperm Count Testing in Orange County

At Reproductive Health and Wellness System we offer high quality male fertility care, including sperm count testing at an affordable cost. Our state of the art labs and testing facilities will determine the cause of infertility in males. For a male fertility consultation with Dr. Rosencrantz, please call or text 949-516-0606 or click here.

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