A semen analysis measures how much semen a man produces. It also shows the number and quality of sperm camera.gif in the semen sample.This test is usually one of the first tests done to help find out if a man has a problem fathering a child (infertility). A problem with the semen or sperm affects more than one-third of couples who are unable to have children (infertile).
Tests that may be done during a semen analysis include:
- Volume. This is a measure of how much semen is present in one ejaculation.
- Liquefaction time. Semen is a thick gel at the time of ejaculation. It normally becomes liquid within 20 minutes after ejaculation. Liquefaction time is the time it takes for the semen to turn to liquid.
- Sperm count.This counts the number of sperm present per milliliter (mL) of semen in one ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape.
- Sperm motility. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally The number of sperm that show normal forward movement in a certain amount of semen can also be measured. This is called motile density.
- pH. This is a measure of the acidity (low pH) or alkalinity (high pH) of the semen.
- White blood cell count. White blood cells are not normally present in semen.
- Fructose level. This is a measure of the amount of a sugar called fructose in the semen. The fructose provides energy for the sperm.
Why It Is Done
A semen analysis is done to find out if:
- A man has a reproductive problem that is causing him to be infertile.
- A vasectomy has been successful.
- The reversal of a vasectomy has been successful.