The primary test for male fertility is semen analysis (spermogram). The basic testing of the spermogram assesses the count, motility and morphology of the sperm.
Sperm analysis helps to assess male fertility. Results are available on the same day of analysis.
The semen analysis is performed in laboratory environment. Prior to the day of the analysis the man should refrain from ejaculation for 3–4 days. If necessary, a sperm sample can also be brought from home (although this needs to be coordinated with the laboratory staff). When brought from home, the sample should be kept at body temperature and the sample should reach the clinic within 30 minutes. The results of the semen analysis are based on the limit values set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Normal spermogram parameters (WHO):
- semen volume ≥ 1.5 ml
- total sperm count ≥ 39 million
- sperm concentration ≥ 15 million/ml
- sperm motility ≥ 40%
- normal shape sperm count ≥ 4%
If necessary, the doctor will prescribe additional tests to help determine the causes of male infertility and to choose a suitable method of in vitro fertilisation.
- MAR test for anti-sperm antibodies detection
- Detection of IL-6 in semen or prostate secretion – a marker of local inflammation
- Functional tests (Eosin) – shows the viability of sperm, i.e. how many sperm are able to fertilise an egg
- Aerobic sowing – detects the presence of aerobic bacteria, which indicates inflammation.
- MiOXSYS – determines oxidative stress in semen. Higher oxidative stress may indicate inflammation and be the cause of infertility or a failed in vitro fertilisation procedure.
- HaloSperm test– determines DNA fragmentation of sperms. Higher DNA frahmentation in sperm cells can cause failed fertilization or recurrent pregnancy loss.
- Biochemistry test – shows the content of zinc, alpha-glucosidase and fructose in seminal plasma, which are additional markers of infection and also affect fertility.
What affects the quality of sperm?
Sperm quality can be negatively affected by smoking, certain medications, excessive alcohol and coffee consumption, obesity, hazardous substances in the environment, and stress. In addition, men are advised to avoid seat heating in cars, taking hot baths, resting laptops on their lap, and carrying a mobile phone in their trouser pocket. Sperm has a 3-month development cycle and a man’s healthy lifestyle can help improve the health of sperm.
If you want more information about your semen analysis results, we recommend that you consult your andrologist.