When a cause is identified in couples who struggle to conceive, a male-factor issue is the most common finding. 25% of couples have a significant male-factor problem that is likely to be the key issue and a minor male-factor problem plays a role in a further 25% of couples.
A simple semen analysis is therefore a vital test as part of your private fertility treatment. Although many may have had a sample tested previously, assessment by experienced embryologists often allows a more detailed semen analysis and preparation of a sample helps counsel your clinician and the most appropriate treatment moving forward.
At the Lister Fertility Clinic we therefore recommend a semen analysis in all men, regardless of general health status and whether they have previously fathered a child. This can often be done just before your first consultation and the result available by the time your consultant sees you. Ideally there should be a 3-5 day abstinence period prior to the test.
It is not unusual for men to have difficulty producing a sample in the clinic environment so, depending on distance, a sample can be produced at home and then brought in for analysis to the clinic. This can be arranged directly with the lab by contacting the lab:
The important sperm parameters that will be assessed are:
- Semen volume
- Sperm concentration
- Sperm motility and proportion that are "progressively motile"
- Sperm morphology (shape/size)
- The presence of any white or red blood cells within the sample or immature sperm
- The presence of "anti-sperm antibodies"
- The number and motility of the sample after it is prepared as if being used for treatment
- Sperm motility and survival will also be assessed 24 hours later