How It Is Done continued...
If any of these methods are against your beliefs, talk with your doctor about different ways to get a sample.
If you collect the semen sample at home, the sample must be
given to the lab or clinic within 1 hour. Keep the sample out of
direct sunlight. And do not let it get cold or hot. If it is a cold day,
carry the semen sample container against your body. This helps to keep it as close to body
temperature as possible. Do not refrigerate the semen sample.
Since semen samples may vary from day to day, two or three different samples
may be checked within a 3-month period. This helps to get accurate testing.
semen analysis to test how well a vasectomy has worked is usually done 6 weeks
after the vasectomy.
How It Feels
Getting a semen sample does not cause
any discomfort. But you may feel embarrassed about the method used to collect
There are no risks associated with collecting a
semen analysis measures the amount of semen a man
produces. It also shows the number and quality of
sperm in the semen sample. Results of a semen analysis
are usually available within a day. Normal values may vary from lab to
2–5 milliliters (mL) (0.002–0.005 L in SI units) per
An abnormally low or high semen volume is
present. This may sometimes cause fertility problems.
20–30 minutes after collection
An abnormally long liquefaction time is
present. This may be a sign of an infection.
20 million spermatozoa per milliliter (mL) or
0 sperm per milliliter if the man has had a
A very low sperm count is present. This
infertility. But a low sperm count does not always
mean that a man can't father a child. Men with sperm counts below 1 million
have fathered children.
More than 30% of the sperm have normal
Kruger criteria: More than 14% of the sperm have a normal shape.
Sperm can be abnormal in several ways. They may have two heads or two tails, a short tail, a tiny head (pinhead), or a
round (rather than oval) head. Abnormal sperm may not be able to move normally or
to penetrate an egg. Some sperm that aren't normal are usually found in every normal
semen sample. But a high percentage of abnormal sperm may make it harder for a man to father a child.
More than 50% of the sperm show normal
forward movement after 1 hour.
Sperm must be able to move forward (or
"swim") through cervical mucus to reach an egg. A high percentage of sperm that
can't swim well may make it harder for a man to father a child.
Semen pH of 7.1–8.0
An abnormally high or low semen pH can kill
sperm or affect how well they can move or can penetrate an egg.
No white blood cells or bacteria are
Bacteria or a large number of white blood
cells are present. This may be a sign of an infection.