Male infertility is often caused by low sperm production. To check this, the first test that is done by the doctor is the test of sperm. Because couples who are trying to conceive often suffer from severe stress and uncertainty. The sperm test helps a lot in detecting problems and obstacles that may arise during conception.

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For those who find it difficult to conceive, low sperm count can be a major factor in fertility problems. In other words, if a man produces very few sperm, it is very unlikely that one of them will be able to successfully fertilize an egg.

Today in this article you will learn about the whole process of sperm test -

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  1. What is Sperm Test?
  2. What is the purpose of the Sperm Test?
  3. Before Sperm Test
  4. During Sperm Test
  5. After Sperm Test
  6. What are the risks of the Sperm Test?
  7. Sperm Test Result and Normal Range
  8. What does an abnormal result mean?
  9. When to get tested with Sperm Test
  10. Takeaway

Sperm test is known by names like sperm analysis or sperm count test etc. With their help, the health and viability of male sperm are analyzed. Semen is a type of fluid, which also contains many substances like sperm and other proteins, this fluid is released during ejaculation. The main 3 factors of sperm health are measured by semen analysis -

  • Sperm count
  • Sperm size
  • Sperm movement is also called sperm motility.

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The reason for examining sperm can be the following:

  • If your partner is having trouble conceiving, this test can be done as a check for male infertility.
  • After vasectomy, to make sure whether the operation was successful or not.

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The doctor will tell you what to do to prepare for the sperm test. It is very important to follow the guidelines given below to get accurate results. To get the best samples -

  • Do not ejaculate semen for 24 to 72 hours before getting the test done.
  • Do not consume alcohol, tea, coffee, and other types of drugs like cocaine, cannabis, etc. for 2 to 5 days before getting the test done.
  • If you are taking any kind of herbal medicine, consult a doctor before taking them.
  • Do not use any type of hormone medicine without consulting a doctor.
  • If you take any type of medicine, then tell the need to doctor about them.

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During the test, a semen sample is given to the doctor to check the sperm count. The following methods can be adopted to collect the sample -

The doctor may ask you to provide a semen sample to test the semen. The sample is usually taken out in a private room in the hospital itself, the ejaculated semen is put into a sample cup.

Many times the sample is taken out at home, during that time the sample is kept at normal temperature and it is delivered to the laboratory within 1 hour of taking out the sample. Sometimes the doctor gives the patient a special condom in which the sample is collected during sex.

Lubricants should never be used to extract the sample as these substances can affect the motility of the sperm.

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To get accurate results, the doctor may test the sample more than once. Within 3 months, the doctor can take samples from the patient 2 or 3 times and test them. Taking the sample to the lab, it is viewed under a microscope.

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There are no known risks associated with sperm tests or sperm analysis. If the semen analysis result is not within the normal limits and there is no factor related to the handling of the sample. In such a situation, you can also consider whether you are not consuming the following things because they can affect the sperm count -

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Certain prescription or over-the-counter medicines that lower sperm count, such as cimetidine.
  • Recreational drug use
  • Eat tobacco

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Depending on the laboratory, it may take 24 hours to 1 week for the results to be available after the semen sample is collected. When doctors look at sperm test results, there are many factors to consider. After a vasectomy, the presence of sperm is checked, but it is analyzed more deeply to check for fertility. The doctor takes into account all the results listed below -

  • Sperm shape - If 50% of all spermatozoa are of normal shape, then the result is considered normal. If more than 50 percent of the sperm in a man are abnormally shaped, it reduces his fertility. Abnormalities are detected in the laboratory by the shape of the sperm. It may also happen that the sperms are not fully mature and hence they are not able to fertilize the egg completely.
  • Movement - The result is considered normal if more than 50% of the sperm are normally motile even after 1 hour of ejaculation. Sperm mobility is important because they need to travel to fertilize an egg. An automated system analyzes the motility of the sperms and scores their speed on a scale from 0 to 4. The number 0 in the result means that there is no motility in the sperms at all and 3 and 4 indicate good motility.
  • PH - The pH value determines the acidity of a solution. In a pH level, the value between 7.2 to 7.8 is kept in the normal range. A pH level above 7.8 indicates a type of infection in the male. A pH level below 7.0 indicates that the sample was contaminated or that the man has clogged ejaculatory ducts.
  • Volume - If the quantity of semen is more than 2 ml then it is considered a normal result. A semen volume lower than this indicates a low sperm count, which is not sufficient to fertilize the egg. A higher amount of semen indicates thinning of the sperm.
  • Liquefaction - It should take 15 to 30 minutes before the semen becomes fluid. Semen is initially thick, its ability to become liquid or dissolve in liquid helps the spermatozoa to move (motility). If the seminal fluid is not formed in 15 to 30 minutes, then it affects reproductive power.
  • Sperm count - The number of sperm in normal semen ranges from 20 million to 200 million. This result is also known as Sperm Density. If there is a decrease in the number then it can be difficult to conceive.
  • Appearance - Normal and healthy semen should be white to gray in appearance. If a red or brown color is seen in the semen, it indicates blood in the semen. If semen has a yellow tinge, it may indicate jaundice or a side effect of other medications.

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Abnormal sperm have a hard time reaching and fertilizing an egg, making it difficult to conceive. An abnormal result may indicate the following -

If your results come in at abnormal levels, your doctor may suggest additional tests.

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You should get tested if you are unable to conceive even after a year of regular sex or if you are experiencing any of the following -

  • Erection or ejaculation problems, loss of arousal, or other sexual problems.
  • Pain, discomfort, swelling, or lump formation in the testicle.
  • Have had a testicular, prostate, or sex-related problem in the past.
  • Have had surgery on the groin, testicles, scrotum, or penis in the past.

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For a woman to become pregnant, a man must have the right sperm count. A sperm test is done to know about the number of sperm in a man. This test is done along with the entire process. Also, through this test, the number, shape, and mobility of the sperm can be known. If there is any deficiency in the report, then the doctors treat it accordingly.

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