Male Fertility Semen Analysis
Semen analysis to assess male fertility
A semen analysis is a test, which is used to assess male fertility. Prior to fertility treatment, it is usual for a semen analysis test to be performed. The semen analysis evaluates the semen and the amount and quality of the sperm contained within it. The volume and the number of sperm per millilitre of ejaculate are measured, and an assessment of the sperm morphology (normal sperm) and sperm motility (how they swim) is made. The World Health Organisation defines a normal sperm count as between 15-200 million per ml. It is also usual to measure the liquefaction, volume and pH. Our samples are analysed using an automated machine (QuickCheck™ Gold, Sperm Quality Analyzer), which provides an analysis of the above values; however this type of examination does not replace an analysis made by an Andrologist.
Most men feel a little uncomfortable about collecting a semen sample for analysis. The circumstances for providing the sample can be less than ideal, however, the staff at Cherish-UK are aware of the embarrassing factors and are used to dealing with samples in a professional manner.
Cherish-UK has a designated quiet room for producing samples at the clinic if required. The site of semen collection does not affect the results of a semen analysis.
Prior to producing a sample, it is important to understand factors, which can affect the quality of the semen sample; it is essential to let the clinic know if any of the following have been used in the last three months prior to your test:
- Caffeine, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and tobacco
- Herbal medicines, such as St. John's wort and high doses of echinacea
- Medicines, such as:
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Male and female hormones (testosterone, oestrogen)
- Steroids / some ‘body building’ supplements
- Some chemotherapy medicines
It is necessary for a sample to be tested within an hour of production. It should be delivered by yourself or your partner within one hour to Cherish-UK. The semen sample should be produced by masturbation into the pot provided by Cherish-UK. The pot in which the sample has been collected must be kept at body temperature to ensure the sperm are kept alive before the sample is tested. Delays in delivering semen and exposure to various temperatures will results in lower overall motile sperm count. It is therefore very important not to expose the sample to extreme temperatures; the motility will be affected if the sample gets too hot or too cold. Once you have produced your sample you must keep your specimen container upright in a plastic bag, with the lid securely tightened. Please clearly write your name and the time and date of your sample on the sample pot.
It is advisable not to have any sexual activity for at least 48 hours before providing the sample; this means no sex or no ejaculation of any kind including masturbation. However, do not abstain for more than seven days as the sperm begin to decline if ejaculation is infrequent.
How do I need to prepare for my semen sample?
Before providing the semen sample make sure your hands and penis are clean. Wash them with soap and then rinse with clear water to ensure no soap residue is left. It is important not to use any lubricant, including saliva. You will need to ejaculate directly into a sterile container provided by Cherish-UK. You must avoid touching the inside of the pot. The semen sample needs to be complete, i.e. all the ejaculate should be collected, which includes the first, sperm-rich portion as it contains the highest concentration of sperm.
Please follow the instructions on the semen analysis form and complete all of the details on the form before delivering the sample to Cherish-UK. In exceptional circumstances if it is difficult to provide a sample from masturbation a sample may be collected during intercourse in a special type of condom known as a collection condom. Collection condoms are made from silicone or polyurethane, as latex is harmful to sperm and should not be used. For more information contact Cherish-UK for advice on where to purchase collection condoms.
Once the sample has been collected it will be analysed to assess the overall count, the following assessments will also be made:
A normal semen volume is between 1.5 ml and 6.5 ml.
The normal pH range specified by WHO criteria is greater than 7.2. A higher pH value may indicate an infection. Infection may also be indicated if there are high levels of white blood cells present in the semen sample.
Liquefaction describes the process, which occurs after ejaculation when the gel, which is formed by proteins from the seminal vesicles, is broken up and the semen becomes more liquid. When the semen becomes more liquid it allows the sperm to be able to swim out of the sample and into the cervical canal. It normally takes approximately 20 minutes for the sample to change from a thick gel into a liquid. However, a liquefaction time within 60 minutes is regarded as being within the normal range.
The World Health Organisation Criteria 5th Edition states that a sample is considered normal if there are 4% or more sperm with normal morphology (shape).
Sperm motility is measured by motility grade, where the motility of sperm is divided into three different grades. A normal semen sample contains at least 40% motile sperm, with most of them showing good forward progression (progressive motility >32%). Total motility is calculated by adding together the percentage of sperm which show movement, progressive and non-progressive, the normal value for total motility is greater than 40%. For an accurate assessment to be made analysis must be completed within 60 minutes of collection. The World Health Organisation 5th Edition classification system is defined as:
Rapid progressive motility > 32%
The values are reported in percentages, which add up to 100%.
How do I book a male fertility semen analysis?
Cherish-UK is a private pregnancy and fertility scanning clinic, you can self refer and arrange an appointment at your convenience. To book a male fertility semen analysis please telephone us on 0121 354 4777 or 07580 611 879, fill out our online enquiry form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Semen Analysis Fees
Please note a £20 deposit is needed at time of booking a semen analysis with the balance of £80 to be paid on attendance. Please be aware the deposit is not transferable and is only valid for use within 6 months of purchase.
Payment is required by cash or card on arrival at the clinic. We do not accept cheques.
Please be aware that Cherish UK has a 24 hour notice cancellation policy. If you do not attend on the day and have not made contact to cancel your appointment we reserve the right to charge the full fee.
What Cherish-UK Clients Say About Us
Our aim is to provide the best possible standard of service and the highest quality of individual care.
Below are what some of our patients have had to say:
"Very professional, Cherish-UK has positively reassured me that I can be a father. Would highly recommend! "
"We were put at ease immediately and the service was excellent."
"Thanks so much for your help -The service was excellent and the advise was straightforward and honest."
"Jacqui was extremely professional and warm, making us feel very at ease with the semen analysis."
Richard, Sutton Coldfield
"I visited Cherish for a follicle tracking scan recently and was really impressed with the personable service I received. I have been for a lot of scans and this is by far the best experience I have had. I was given results very quickly and my husband also used Cherish for a sperm test and was emailed his results on the same day. I would definitely recommend."
"Diana made us feel very relaxed and welcome. We were delighted to get semen analysis results so promptly."
"I am totally pleased with service provided by the specialist nurse called Jacqui. Everything was dealt with a professional manner and my sperm analysis results were e-mailed to me within an hour. It is quite tricky to find the location of Cherish UK therefore I would advise you to check its location on the website before you make your way to the clinic. I am so pleased with the service provided that I even recommended to a friend of mine. Good luck everyone and happy new year 2015."
"Having had this test was a follow up to a first test I had done by GP, having confirmed what I already knew, Diana was lovely and knowledgable on offering advise on what I should do, a lot more compassionate than our locum GP, I saw recently."
"Thank you for making us feel comfortable and at ease Jacqui. We had the Sperm analysis results within the hour!!!"
"Excellent and convenient service. Diana was friendly, helpful and professional. There was no fuss. Very rapid result. Will definitely return if further services needed and would recommend to friends and family."
"Very pleased about the services provided by Cherish. Brilliant staff!"
Annalisa, Sutton Coldfield