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Semen analysis

When a cause is identified in couples who struggle to conceive, a male-factor issue is the most common finding. 25% of couples have a significant male-factor problem that is likely to be the key issue and a minor male-factor problem plays a role in a further 25% of couples.

A simple semen analysis is therefore a vital test as part of your private fertility treatment. Although many may have had a sample tested previously, assessment by experienced embryologists often allows a more detailed semen analysis and preparation of a sample helps counsel your clinician and the most appropriate treatment moving forward.

At the Lister Fertility Clinic we therefore recommend a semen analysis in all men, regardless of general health status and whether they have previously fathered a child. This can often be done just before your first consultation and the result available by the time your consultant sees you. Ideally there should be a 2-3 day abstinence period prior to the test.

It is not unusual for men to have difficulty producing a sample in the clinic environment so, depending on distance, a sample can be produced at home and then brought in for analysis to the clinic. This can be arranged directly with the lab by contacting the lab:

The important sperm parameters that will be assessed are:

  • Semen volume
  • Sperm concentration
  • Sperm motility and proportion that are “progressively motile”
  • Sperm morphology (shape/size)
  • The presence of any white or red blood cells within the sample or immature sperm
  • The presence of “anti-sperm antibodies”
  • The number and motility of the sample after it is prepared as if being used for treatment
  • Sperm motility and survival will also be assessed 24 hours later