Male factors account for about 50% of all infertility problems. Male factors for infertility can include:

  • Lack of Sperm
  • Abnormal Sperm
  • Problems with Sperm Delivery
  • Natural Fertility Decline

A semen analysis may be the first step in fertility testing for couples that have been actively trying to achieve a pregnancy for over a year without success. This test consists of testing the semen, the white fluid discharge or ejaculate from the male penis at orgasm, which contains sperm, within 2 hours of collection. A semen analysis, or sperm testing, is done first because it is non-invasive and much usually less expensive, costing less than $50 for most people.

The sample is collected by masturbation either alone or with a partner. Sometimes it is done in a medical office or in your home. You will be given instructions on how long to abstain from ejaculation prior to the testing. Usually this period of time is about 2-3 days.

They are looking for the volume of the semen sample, the number of sperm and if they are adequately mobile and normally shaped and the contents of the seminal fluid.

Fertility can be affected when the ranges are outside of the normal limits. The test can be influenced by drugs or medications, including alcohol, tobacco, hormones, and marijuana.

The treatment would depend on what was found to be wrong with the sample. Many problems can be treated and addressed. If no problems are found testing of the female partner, which may be more invasive and costly, is begun. For more information talk to your health care provider about your specific case.

Semen Analysis
Normal Volume 1.5 - 5.0 milliliters per ejaculation
Sperm Count 20-150 Million sperm per milliliter
Movement/Shape 60+% should be normal shape and motile (moves forward)


Source: About.com

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