Updated on 19 October, 2021
A semen examination, also known as seminogram, or semen analysis, evaluates the characteristics of the semen and the sperm included therein. It's typically done to help assess male fertility, either for individuals looking for pregnancy or determining the success of a vasectomy. There are some who question the reliability of such tests as a true indicator of semen quality, but the American Society for Reproductive Medicine supports the practice. For those curious about the details, here's how it works.
Typically, men get a semen examination when their fertility is being assessed. Sperm count and quality is an important sign of male fertility. This in turn can help couples plan their families. Before the examination can measure semen volume and quality, there are several things that need to be measured first. Among these are the following: masturbation, cervical mucus, sexual intercourse, vaginal intercourse and non-sexual activity. In some instances, males are asked to perform a home sperm count test to see if sperm quality levels are at their peak.
Men who perform home sperm tests will have access to various products that can help them measure semen quality. There are kits available within the pharmacy and in many stores where supplies are sold in single packages. Some home kits are more elaborate than others. They usually include one or more test tubes and syringes that can be filled with various types of fluid. The materials also vary among different kits.
Semen analysis looks closely at sperm concentration, mobility and motility. These are key factors in male fertility. Concentration refers to how much of the semen is composed of sperm while mobility refers to how quickly sperm move. Maturation refers to how long it takes for the sperm to become an egg.
Semen quality levels can be tested with home sperm tests. It is important to look for results from a variety of tests. The results can be compared between men. The result of each test can then be compared to a sample of semen from a man who is not under a fertility treatment. This is especially important when testing for a condition that alters semen quality.
The goal behind semen analysis is to determine the sperm count, mobility and motility of semen. These aspects are important factors in determining fertility. If one of these aspects is abnormal, it can affect fertility. Sperms that do not fit into the correct shape or size could have difficulties moving. Sperm that swim too slowly or do not live long enough could even be harmful.
The goal for any man who is trying to get pregnant is to increase his sperm count and/or motility. There are some natural methods of increasing sperm count. One way to increase the sperm count is by performing daily exercise. This improves blood flow to the testicles. It also allows more blood to reach the testicles so sperm can be developed. Many different herbal supplements are available that can help increase sperm count as well as improve overall health.
It is important to talk with a professional about various treatments for male infertility. The best way to go about this process is to determine what may be the cause of infertility. It often times takes several tests to zero in on the cause. Once it is determined, a professional can then recommend a treatment plan. It may take several months before the treatments begin but they will eventually start to work and help a man conceive.
One condition that can cause infertility is hypothyroidism. A good way to improve the count is to have hormone levels checked. Thyroid diseases are common with men and can affect fertility as well. A visit to a clinic specializing in fertility can help determine which treatment is best for an individual. Other conditions that can affect fertility can include poor egg quality, low sperm count or low sperm mobility.
One condition that can prevent conception is when a man is not able to generate at least two hundred million sperm cells. This can be caused by physical problems including infections or even injury. Men who are underweight or obese can also experience low sperm mobility and produce low quality sperm cells. A visit to a fertility clinic specializing in infertility treatments can determine whether fertility medications such as medications can improve sperm count.
If a man does not test positive for the causes of infertility he may still be able to conceive through assisted reproductive technology. Most clinics will require a semen analysis before they will help a couple conceive a child. This semen analysis will not only look for the presence of sperm, but it will also look for certain hormonal abnormalities that can hinder fertility. In order to improve the chances of conception, fertility experts often suggest a couple try one or more assisted reproductive technologies before resorting to surgery.