When a doctor proposes a male fertility test such as semen analysis, the male patient is usually first taken aback. The issue of infertility has always been blamed on women – even when it has been proven that a woman is okay. For some reason, men view infertility as an intimidation of their manhood, yet it is not true.
One of the questions that men ask when the doctor recommends semen analysis is; do I have to do it? If your doctor proposes it, you should know it is imperative that you go ahead with it. He or she feels that it is important that you undergo male fertility testing – even if you have had a child or children before. There is nothing to worry about. If your doctor finds out that you do not have infertility issues, the focus will be put on evaluating the reproductive health of your partner.
After a vasectomy, doctors usually recommend a semen analysis to check if there is any sperm in the ejaculate. Your doctor might propose several of these tests after this procedure to ensure sterility.
Also known as sperm test, the procedure entails the collection of specimen (semen) in a jar. At the laboratory, the specimen is examined under the microscope to assess the sperm count, the appearance, shape, as well as the mobility. The lab technician also checks the semen to check if the sperm concentration is more or less than 20 million sperms/ milliliter of the ejaculate. If for instance your sperm count is found to be lower than the standard number, the fertility specialist might want to test the levels of blood testosterone, LH, FSH, as well as prolactin. Thankfully, men can rely on a wide array of supplements to improve the various parameters used in the determination of sperm quality.
Before producing a sample, patients are advised to abstain from ejaculating for 24-72 hours but not more than 120 hours (5 days). If you are collecting the specimen from your home or a more convenient place, make sure that it does not take you more than 90 minutes to get the specimen to the laboratory. It explains why patients are encouraged to collect the semen sample at a place that is proximity to the clinic. Note that the sample should not be exposed to extreme temperatures. To maintain a stable temperature, make sure that the specimen container (a special container is provided at the hospital) is kept in close contact with your body.
Sample collection may happen in one of the following ways:
- Sex with condom
- Sex with the withdrawal method
Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for the test. For instance, you will be asked to stay clear of alcohol, cigarette smoking, and recreational drugs for several days or weeks before the test. You may also be required to stop usage of herbal medications and other drugs capable of interfering with the accuracy of the results. Your complete cooperation is needed to boost the correctness of the test results.