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The Role of Semen Analysis in Treating Male Infertility

By Vicken Sahakian, M.D. on April 02, 2017

Sperm under a microscopeThe team at our Los Angeles fertility practice believes in careful assessment of each patient's case. This allows us to properly identify the causes of fertility issues and the right procedure to meet the patient's needs. We're proud to offer state-of-the-art female and male fertility testing with a focus on solutions.

Semen analysis is a cornerstone of male fertility assessments. Let's take a moment to go over the basics.

What Is Semen Analysis?

Semen analysis refers to a process in which fertility specialists examine the overall quality of a man's semen and sperm. Using a semen sample, a lab technician can check for a number of factors that may impact overall fertility. The assessment is a crucial part of many fertility treatments, from in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) to a general diagnosis of infertility.

Reasons to Undergo Semen Analysis

Many men will undergo semen analysis if they notice issues with getting their partner pregnant. Typically it's a good idea to consider semen analysis if you have been trying to conceive for a few months to a year with little success. It's not uncommon for this male fertility assessment to be performed in addition to a female fertility assessment.

What Semen Analysis Can Measure

Semen analysis is able to measure a number of different things regarding semen as well as spem. This includes all of the following:

  • Sperm Count – Sperm count measures the number of sperm per milliliter of semen. Low sperm count leads to lower male fertility.

  • Sperm Motility – Sperm motility measures the ability for the sperm to swim properly. Sperm that cannot swim properly are less likely to fertilize eggs.

  • Sperm Morphology – Sperm morphology examines the shape and anatomy of the sperm to make sure they are generally normal.

  • Semen Volume – The amount of semen present when you ejaculate can have a major impact on your ability to get your partner pregnant.

  • Liquefaction Time – Semen is typically gel-like for 20 minutes after ejaculation, eventually turning into liquid. Issues with timing can lead to reduced fertility.

  • Fructose Level – Fructose is a sugar present in semen that helps nourish and provide energy for the sperm. Low fructose may affect the viability of the sperm.

  • Semen pH – Issues with acidity or alkalinity of your semen can lead to problems with the health of your sperm.

By noting all of these issues, a fertility specialist can develop a custom treatment plan just for you.

Treating Male Infertility

Some cases of male infertility may be addressed through lifestyle changes. For instance, the type of underwear a man wears can impact sperm count to a certain degree. Diet can also lead to issues with semen composition and pH. These matters can be discussed in greater detail with your fertility specialist depending on your needs.

If there are issues with sperm count or sperm motility, it may be necessary to consider fertility treatments of various kinds. Both IVF and IUI can increase your likelihood of having a child. In some cases, the use of a sperm donor may be the best option for starting a family. All of these options can be discussed in greater detail during your visit to the practice.

Learn More About Semen Analysis

For more information about treating male infertility and how we can help you, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. Our fertility experts will use state-of-the-art technology to improve your chances of starting a family.

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