A Semen Analysis May Provide Clarity About the Cause of Your Infertility
Trying to conceive with no success can be incredibly stressful and trying for you and your partner. Rather than wasting time and energy trying to guess the cause of your infertility, it is better to seek out a professional semen analysis. This simple test is usually the appropriate first step because it is the single, most important element in a male infertility assessment.
Board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist Infertility (REI) specialist Dr. Sonja B. Kristiansen and her team in Houston, TX, provide full-service care for fertility patients at Houston Fertility Center. A semen analysis can show us why you are having trouble conceiving, reveal underlying health conditions, and provide a clear path for which treatment will best help you towards the goal of growing your family.
Realizing Dreams of Parenthood
Do You Need a Semen Analysis?
A semen analysis is recommended for all patients with difficulty conceiving or interested in fertility treatment. Testing of the male partner’s sperm sample allows Dr. Kristiansen to gather important information regarding his reproductive history, medical history, and lifestyle.
A semen analysis test will provide many answers to fertility issues an individual or couple may be experiencing.
Because male infertility is responsible for one-third of couples who have difficulty conceiving, it is important to get your semen professionally analyzed to get a professional opinion about your best treatment options.
What to Expect During the Process
Preparing to Give a Sample
Prior to your collection date, we may ask you to refrain from sexual activity to ensure that your sperm count is as high as possible before your exam. However, you should not go more than seven days without ejaculating before your exam. We also recommend that you:
- Do not drink alcohol prior to your semen analysis
- Stay away from caffeine, cocaine, or marijuana
- Stop taking any herbal or hormone medications
Keep in mind that if you are feeling ill or are stressed before your test, it may affect your results.
If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, we want to help. Our office is open early so that you can get the tests you need on a schedule that works for you.
Obtaining the Sample
You will be asked to provide a sample within a collection cup. If you are uncomfortable doing so at the office, you can do this at home. However, to ensure the most accurate results, you should deliver the sample to the office within 30 to 60 minutes. We will collect another sample after approximately two to three weeks.
Assessing the Sample
Our lab will assess the sample under a microscope to determine the:
- Concentration: A normal sperm count should be at least 15 million sperm per millimeter collected.
- Motility: Your sperm should be active.
- Morphology: Sperm must be the right size and shape for a successful conception.
- Volume: If there is a low amount of semen during a single sample, it might mean that there is blockage of your seminal vessels.
Your results are usually ready within a week of your exam.
Getting Your Results
If your results are abnormal, we may recommend additional assessments, such as genetic testing. Based off these tests, we may recommend:
- Adopting a healthier lifestyle and eliminating habits that could be lowering your sperm counts
- Getting treatment for any underlying conditions, such as diabetes
- Performing surgery if there is an obstruction
- Using a sperm donor
Our team will explain all of your options, listen to your concerns, and try to overcome any obstacles to assist you in growing your family.
The Importance of a Professional Semen Analysis
While store-bought semen tests are available, they are not as accurate as the results provided by a professional semen analysis. Where a professional analysis tests for several features of the sperm, an over-the-counter test only tests your sperm count. In addition to giving you a more comprehensive understanding of your sperm and the potential causes of infertility, getting a professional medical diagnosis also gives you access to potential treatment options.
In addition, a semen analysis can give us insight to other factors that could be making conception difficult for you and your family such as a preexisting condition like diabetes or a genetic defect.
Get Professional Help Today
If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, we want to help. Our office is open early so that you can get the tests you need on a schedule that works for you. Because we offer virtually every form of infertility treatment, we can design a treatment plan that directly addresses the results of your semen analysis. To schedule a consultation, request a consultation online or call Houston Fertility Center.