Semen Analysis Testing
Infertility affects both women and men. Research has shown that in approximately 45% of couples with fertility issues, the male partner is either a primary cause or a contributing cause of infertility. Treating infertility therefore requires assessing and possibly treating both partners.
Diagnosing male infertility usually requires a physical exam and semen analysis.
What is semen analysis testing?
Semen analysis, or sperm count test, is a laboratory test that evaluates sperm. Semen analysis is critical for diagnosing male infertility and can also confirm a successful vasectomy.
In addition to helping diagnose male infertility, semen analysis can sometimes detect other unsuspected medical conditions, such as genetic disorders, endocrine diseases and malignancies.
Who can have semen analysis testing?
Men who are having difficulty conceiving naturally may be good candidates for semen analysis testing. For a standard semen analysis, your physician can order a test, or you can self-refer. We also offer DNA fragmentation testing to determine sperm quality.
What does semen analysis testing diagnose?
Semen analysis measures the number, shape and movement of sperm under a microscope. Each of these factors is an important indicator of sperm quality. These values are then compared against a set of reference values for healthy sperm developed by the World Health Organization. Additional factors may also be considered, including semen volume, semen pH, white blood cell count and fructose level.
What are the risks of semen analysis testing?
There are no known health risks of semen analysis testing. However, you may need multiple tests for the most accurate results. If the initial semen analysis is abnormal, you may need to repeat the analysis. This is because several factors can influence a semen analysis sample, including medications, illness, tobacco use, groin injury and others.
Before your semen analysis test
We recommend that men refrain from ejaculating for 2-5 days, but not more than 7 days, before providing the sample. Longer or shorter periods of abstinence may result in a lower sperm count or decreased sperm motility.
What to expect during your semen analysis test?
Semen samples are collected at home or in our offices, in a private collection room, by ejaculating into a specimen cup. Men who wish to collect their sample at home must keep the sample between room and body temperature while in transit. They must also reach the lab within 1 hour of ejaculation.
Recovery and results for semen analysis testing
Semen analysis results are typically available within 7 business days. In some cases, additional tests may be required. We may ask some men to provide a urine sample after ejaculation to rule out retrograde ejaculation (ejaculation back into the bladder). If sperm motility is low, we may recommend DNA fragmentation testing to assess sperm quality. This test examines DNA damage in sperm, which may lower the chance of conception.
Why choose us for semen analysis testing
The University of Kansas Health System is part of the Kansas City region's premier academic medical center. We provide the most comprehensive fertility program in the region.
Our fertility specialists coordinate and collaborate with other specialists throughout the health system – providing individualized care for couples struggling with infertility. Our experts participate in leading-edge research and offer today's most current testing and treatment for male infertility.
Genetic testing for infertility
Some causes of infertility can be due to a genetic problem. Our genetic counselors can help you better understand your health history and treatment options.