Semen analysis measures the amount and quality of a man's semen and sperm. Semen is the thick, white fluid released during ejaculation that contains sperm.
This test is sometimes called a sperm count.
Male fertility test; Sperm count; Infertility - semen analysis
How the Test is Performed
You will need to provide a semen sample. Your health care provider will explain how to collect a sample.
Methods for collecting a sperm sample include:
- Masturbating into a sterile jar or cup
- Using a special condom during intercourse given to you by your health care provider
You should get the sample to the lab within 30 minutes. If the sample is collected at home, keep it in the inside pocket of coat so that it will stay at body temperature while you are transporting it.
A laboratory specialist must look at the sample within 2 hours of the collection. The earlier the sample is analyzed, the more reliable the results. The following things will be evaluated:
- How the semen thickens into a solid and turns to liquid
- Fluid thickness, acidity, and sugar content
- Resistance to flow (viscosity)
- Movement of the sperm (motility)
- Number and structure of the sperm
- Volume of semen