Male Infertility: Scheduling a Semen Analysis
Certainly, getting a semen analysis (a.k.a. ‘sperm test’) does not rank high on most guys’ ‘to-do lists’…. It’s awkward – yes — but scheduling a semen analysis will help evaluate male fertility and bring you closer to the treatment that will work the most effectively for you. Remember that infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 8 couples; about half of all cases can be related to sperm issues.
Because sperm issues can be so common, it is likely that your doctor will recommend checking a semen analysis during the fertility workup.
Abstinence before a semen collection
• Do not ejaculate less than 48 hours from the scheduled collection; also, do not go more than 5 days in between your last ejaculation and the collection. In other words, plan to have sexual intercourse or ejaculate a few days before the scheduled collection.
• Fill out your semen analysis collection form and verify your appointment with Austin IVF (Texas Fertility Center’s partner lab). There are 2 Austin IVF locations – make sure to clarify which location you are scheduled to drop off at.
The day of your semen collection appointment
• For men who live in the general Austin area, it is fine to provide a semen sample collected at home. This is fine as long as the sample arrives at Austin IVF within one hour of collection. We will give you an instruction sheet to help you obtain the optimal specimen.
• If you decide to collect at the lab, make sure you arrive with plenty of time for your appointment. Running late or overbooking your day will increase your stress level and could lead to performance anxiety. We will leave you alone with a sterile collection cup.
• No matter where you collect the specimen, remember that the best sample will be produced by manual masturbation without the use of commercial lubricants, condoms, bodily fluids or lotions. Austin IVF can provide a lubricant that will not interfere with sperm testing.
• Bring a photo ID.
Finding out the results of your semen analysis
One of the andrologists at Austin IVF will evaluate your sperm sample to determine the concentration (quantity of sperm), motility (how effectively they swim) and morphology (how ‘normal’ the sperm look) of the semen sample.
In certain scenarios, anti-sperm antibody testing may be done on the semen sample. This is typically done if a couple is considering IVF – or if the male has had any history of groin infection, injury, or surgery. Also, the sperm may be cryopreserved (frozen) for later use if there is concern about a diminishing amount of sperm or for logistical issues.
You may have never considered the miraculous act of a sperm finding and fertilizing an egg. Checking out the sperm helps us to maximize the information we can glean about the infertility issue. Completing this kind of basic fertility testing allows us the best chance to optimize treatment and create the family of your dreams!
For some ‘light’ reading on a guy’s perspective on male infertility and subsequent fertility treatment, there is a great book called ‘How To Make Love To A Plastic Cup’ by Greg Wolfe.
For more information please visit our website at http://www.txfertility.com/09men.php
Or you can go to AIVF’s website to read more about all of our andrology services available at www.austinivf.com
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