A lot of factors go into conception, and having healthy sperm is one of them. When there are problems with sperm, it can become difficult or impossible to get pregnant. For instance, problems include a low concentration of sperm, or the sperm having low motility. Doing a semen analysis test is the first step in determining whether there’s a sperm issue.

What is a Semen Analysis Test?A man holds his son, who was born partially as a result of a semen analysis test

As a reasonably simple exam, a semen analysis test is the only male-focused test for couples who undergo infertility treatment. The semen is the whitish liquid that men ejaculate, and it contains microscopic cells called sperm. The sperm has a head, midsection, and tail, and each one contains a copy of men’s genes. When they merge with a female’s egg, the result is fertilization.

The semen analysis test Chicago treatment facilities use measures the quality and quantity of men’s sperm. To get an accurate reading, a lab evaluates the seminal fluid, semen, and sperm for many traits, including:

  • Semen volume and viscosity
  • Sperm concentration, count and motility
  • Percentage or number of healthy, abnormal and immature sperm
  • Number of white blood cells
  • How fast the semen liquefies
  • Amount of fructose present
  • pH balance to determine acidity

In addition, there’s a shorter version of the exam. It tests for the presence of sperm a few months after men have vasectomies. The purpose of doing the semen analysis test at this point is to confirm whether the surgery was successful.

What to Expect Before and During the Test

Before men undergo semen analysis testing, they can’t ejaculate for two to seven days. The purpose is to give their sperm time to replenish for optimal results. Abstaining for longer than seven days, though, will increase semen volume but decrease sperm motility. Also, men shouldn’t drink alcohol for a few days before the test.

At the time of the test, the semen sample should be about one teaspoon of fluid. The infertility clinic provides a private room for men to deposit their specimens. For religious or other reasons, they also have the option to collect the sample during intercourse at home. In those cases, the clinic will provide the necessary tools and instructions for doing so.

After men deposit the sample, it goes to a lab for microscopic analysis. This process is the same for a semen analysis test Chicago men undergo after a vasectomy.

What Happens with the Results?

Average sperm density from a semen analysis test ranges from 15 million to more than 200 million sperm per milliliter. A low sperm count has less than 39 million per ejaculation. Therefore, a sperm count less than this number reduces the likelihood of conception. However, it’s still possible to get pregnant with a low sperm count.

Other abnormalities can occur with sperm and reduce the chances of successful conception. There are numerous causes of infertility.

If a lab detects a problem, the next step is to determine the cause. The infertility clinic may run some additional tests for that. Then, the staff can help couples plan a course of treatment.

Get Your Testing and Treatment at Advanced Reproductive Center

If you and your partner have trouble getting pregnant, trust the caring hands at Advanced Reproductive Center. Our fertility facility offers semen analysis testing in a private environment. Our team of specialists understands the sensitivity of the matter.

In addition to sperm testing, Advanced Reproductive Center provides fertility education, genetic screenings, and many other services. Some of these include:

Don’t let trouble conceiving discourage you from having a family. Get a semen analysis test and other fertility exams at Advanced Reproductive Center. Call 312.485.4847 today to find out how we can help you get pregnant.