Part I: The Semen AnalysisMale factor infertility is the primary cause of 20-25% of cases of infertility amongst couples and is a contributing factor in as many as 35% of infertility cases. For this reason, one of the first tests offered to couples at the Fertility Centers of New England is the semen analysis. The Semen Analysis is a test performed in the laboratory by an Andrologist who is a specialist in male health as it relates to reproduction and in the performance of tests concerned with male reproductive potential. The semen analysis measures the quantity and quality of a patient’s sperm.
Producing a sample in a time-sensitive and unfamiliar setting can be anxiety provoking. However, it is essential to the evaluation process that the sample be produced no more than one hour before analysis. For this reason, the Fertility Centers of New England provides private, clean, and comfortable rooms for sperm production. Sometimes, your doctor may allow the sample to be produced off-site as long as it can be transported warm to the lab within an hour so that the sample then can be assessed in a timely manner.
Once the sample has been collected and allowed to liquefy, the andrologist places a single drop of semen on a specialized glass slide for analysis with a microscope. Additionally, a second drop of semen is stained so that the andrologist can look at the morphology, or shape of the sperm. The andrologist then records various parameters of the sample which will be described subsequently.