stitch in time saves time!
Before everyone just starts to Google something and find the ways to do it, it’s better to understand what it is and why it is important. Semen analysis, which is also known as “seminogram” evaluates the health and viability of a man’s sperm. It focuses on 3 important characteristics:
of sperm or sperm count
of sperm or sperm motility
sperm analysis is important to evaluate male fertility, whether for the couples
seeking pregnancy or verifying the results of vasectomy. One of the most important
parameters is sperm count.
count or sperm concentration is a measure of the number of sperms per
ejaculation or per measured amount of semen. It measures the concentration of
sperm in man’s ejaculate. It is different from total sperm count, which is the
sperm count multiplied by volume. Simply put,
Total Sperm Count = Sperm count per unit volume * Volume
Why is sperm count important?
though it takes only one egg and one sperm for pregnancy, healthier and better
the sperm count, higher the chances of pregnancy. It is not just important for conceiving
but is also an indicator of overall health. A study in Endocrine Society in
2018 found that a man with lower sperm count is likely to have a higher
percentage of body fat (denoted by bigger waistline and higher BMI) and higher
blood pressure. Lower sperm count also leads to a higher frequency of metabolic
syndrome or higher chances of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke.
is important now to understand the international standards for normal sperm
What is a normal sperm count range?
per WHO in 2010, a normal sperm count range is 15 million to more than 200
million sperm per millilitre of semen. Anything less than 15 million sperm per
millilitre of semen or 39 million sperm per ejaculate is considered as low
sperm count. Lower sperm count is called as oligozoospermia. Vasectomy is
considered successful if the sperm count is zero which is called azoospermia.
Few precautionary steps to ensure before semen analysis:
good sample is needed to provide the most accurate results, as is the case with
every test and analysis. Your doctor will consult you on the preparation in
order to get a good sample. To get accurate results, one should ensure
ejaculation 24 to 72 hours before the test. However, ejaculation should not be
avoided for longer than a couple of weeks before the analysis as it might lead
to inactive sperms in the sample.
alcohol, drugs , and caffeine 2 to 5 days before the test
any herbal medication or discuss it with the doctor once
any hormonal medications
use of lubricants to collect the sample as it affects the natural movement of
sample should ideally be collected either by masturbation or ejaculation.
Masturbation is considered the ideal way to get a clean sample. The sample
collected should be protected from all the external factors which can cause
inaccuracy in the test.
One should keep in mind the following things:
must be kept at the body temperature. It should not be stored at a low
temperature or a high temperature. Higher temperature reduces sperm and lower
temperature reduces motility. The primary reason for the testicles being
attached outside to the body is to keep it cooler than the body temperature.
must be tested within 30 to 60 minutes of ejaculation. Keeping the sperms in
open for long kills them. Hence the sample must be taken to a testing
laboratory or facility within 30 to 60 minutes.
the semen from contacting spermicide. Spermicide has chemicals which immobilize
and kill the sperm to prevent it from reaching the egg.
taking the test if you are ill or stressed. Stress and illness are known to
reduce sperm count as well. No wonder, everyone asks us to be happy and jolly.
technician should handle the sperms with extra precaution. Any minor
contamination can provide wrong test results.
ideal and preferred way is to consult a doctor and visit a laboratory or
testing facility for most accurate results. Home tests are also available, but
they provide the results only for sperm count. Chips for home use are emerging
which give an accurate estimation of sperm count within 10 minutes. Such chips
might measure the sperm concentration against a control liquid filled with
polystyrene beads. However, the home results are not always accurate as it
doesn’t consider all the possible causes of male infertility.
What do the results say?
2 words make everyone nervous right from the childhood. The lab technicians
observe the sample closely under the microscope which provides them information
about sperm count, motility, morphology, volume, chemical makeup, fructose
level. The test results are generally available within 24 hours to 1 week
depending upon the laboratory. The doctor considers multiple factors while
reviewing the results.
between 15 million to 200 million sperms per millilitre of semen is considered
the normal range. If the test results are abnormal, it could be an indication
of the following things:
such as diabetes
doctor can request for another test to review the sample to eliminate the
chances of a sample contamination incident or a bad sample. If the results still
point towards abnormality a few additional tests might be needed, which are:
after ejaculation: It is the analysis of urine sample collected after
a tissue sample from the testicles
immune cells testing
sperm count test or semen analysis requires a careful collection of samples and
analysis of multiple samples to reach to a conclusion. The analysis provides a
variety of information which determine the factors that affect man’s fertility.
The doctor can refer to a fertility specialist in case of abnormal results. Do
not hesitate from such tests as it will take you and your partner out from
ignorance and help you figure out the exact problem and treatment.
complete care of our body and health issues is a must, one must not risk it. Remember
without your health you have nothing really going your way!