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Sperm Testing & Analysis

Semen Analysis for Men Fertility

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*Note: Dr. Torbati does not offer this service specifically at his location, but will direct you towards the nearest Doctor who does. This article is written solely for informational purposes.

Click here to read about artificial insemination options, which Dr. Torbati does offer.

Semen analysis, also referred to as sperm count test, is a laboratory test of freshly ejaculated semen to assess the health of a man’s sperm and help diagnose infertility. The semen sample is placed under a microscope in order to measure the number, shape, and movement of sperm.

In order to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your sperm’s health, doctors usually conduct two to three sperm analyses and average the results.

When is Semen Analysis Performed?

The semen analysis test is often recommended when a couple is having trouble getting pregnant. Studies suggest that about 40 percent of cases of infertile couples involve the man’s inability to conceive. During medical investigations of the couple for infertility, some of the tests conducted on the male partner include semen analysis, to help determine if sperm dysfunction or low sperm count is the reason behind the infertility.

The test is also used to confirm a successful vasectomy (the tubes conveying sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut and sealed as a form of permanent birth control).

The Process of Semen Analysis

Your local doctor or urologist can give you a referral to have a semen analysis at a pathology laboratory, or a more specialized laboratory, such as one associated with IVF programs and uses methods approved by the World Health Organization. Expertise and special equipment are necessary to conduct accurate semen analyses.

The test begins with a basic interview that includes:
  • A physical exam
  • A full medical and reproductive history – including any medication you’re taking or past surgeries
  • Lifestyle queries, such as drug use, smoking, exercise
  • An open discussion about your sexual life, including previous STIs or sex problems
In any male infertility test, the man must provide a fresh semen sample (produced within one hour) for analysis. The sample is best collected in a specimen jar by masturbation, but if this is a problem, it can be collected by interrupted intercourse using condom collection devices (not ordinary condoms because they contain agents that interrupt sperm motility).

For the best sample,
  • Ensure that none of the sperm sample is lost
  • Don’t ejaculate for at least 48 hours before the test
  • Ejaculate at least once in the previous 7 days before the test
  • Avoid any hormone or herbal medications


Once the sample is collected, the trained expert will analyze the sperm count, their shape, mobility, and other variables. Generally, a greater number of normal-shaped sperm implies higher fertility, though 15 percent of infertile men have normal semen with enough normal sperm.

Regardless of the results, at least two semen analyses, at six weeks apart, are needed to accurately check male fertility.