How Do You Collect Seminal Fluid Analysis?
Semen analysis is one of the earliest tests performed to ascertain male fertility. This procedure measures several parameters related to sperm count and motility, such as count per milliliter or count per minute.
To achieve accurate results, doctors advise abstaining from all sexual activity which produces ejaculation – including masturbation – for two to seven days prior to any test that measures sperm count or quality. This ensures maximum accuracy.
Collecting the Semen
An advanced semen analysis provides much more detailed data than at-home kits do, measuring several parameters beyond just sperm count such as active sperm concentration and motility; acidity/alkaline balance in samples and other factors which might impede male fertility efforts such as whether or not their sperm are blocked from entering women’s reproductive tract or swimming too slowly.
Based on the test being administered, patients may either collect their sample during sexual intercourse using a special condom, or they may be instructed to ejaculate directly into a collection container at home and transport it directly to the laboratory after ejaculating. When choosing this latter method it is crucial that any collected jar or container be kept at body temperature and brought quickly after being filled to take maximum advantage of this option.
Physicians will give instructions on how to do this correctly, with the jar needing to remain closed tightly in order to prevent leakage during transport. Furthermore, it’s advisable to abstain from sexual activity for two or more days prior to collecting your specimen as longer periods can result in lower sperm counts as well as decreased motility and movement affecting its analysis results.
When testing at an UR Medicine Labs patient service center or clinic, it may be necessary to use a lubricant provided by them as many commercial lubricants contain spermicidal agents that could alter test results. A clinical advisor will typically instruct their patient to use only the initial stage of his ejaculation which tends to contain more sperm-rich content than later parts.
Once a sample has been collected, it should be sent immediately to a laboratory for analysis as exposed sperm can die quickly due to exposure to warm temperatures and become non-motile.
Obtaining the Sample
When getting your semen tested, you will be asked to submit a sample – either by ejaculation or using the special condom provided by the lab – as quickly as possible to the laboratory; it must remain at body temperature and be delivered within an hour as sperm lives only briefly in seminal fluids.
If you opt to submit an ejaculate sample for testing, it’s essential that you refrain from any sexual activity for two days prior. This means no sex and masturbation, among other activities. Each physician will have specific guidelines about how long to abstain; please check with them directly for guidance.
Your sample should be collected in a sterile specimen cup; some clinics offer these cups and a private room for collection. When collecting, be sure to wash your hands and ensure you do not touch either the inside of the jar or its lid; some programs may also suggest retracting foreskin before ejaculating, using lubricant as needed to ease this process.
Your sample will be evaluated for several factors, such as its pH level, concentration of sperm, size and shape of sperm morphology as well as motility (the ability of sperm to swim towards an egg to fertilize it). Furthermore, the lab will assess volume changes over time before looking for signs of rapid liquefaction.
If your sample is collected at a clinic, it must be sent off within an hour to be tested in order for it to remain viable and viable sperm can only remain within seminal fluid for so long before they move out into cervical and uterine tissue fluids of women, where it can live for several days – this explains why home samples taken by men can often differ in both count and quality from day to day.
Transporting the Semen to the Laboratory
Many companies sell kits designed to collect semen samples for testing at home. Although this can be useful, professional testing provides more accurate results while guaranteeing that no bodily fluids such as saliva or vaginal secretions contaminate the jar that could influence its accuracy.
If you are trying to conceive, obtaining a semen analysis early can provide valuable information about sperm health and potential changes that might improve chances of conception – such as diet or vitamin supplements. A semen analysis may also reveal any health issues, such as an abnormally low sperm count or motility rate that might hamper conception.
Your doctor will provide instructions for you to prepare your body for testing, such as abstaining from sexual activities that produce ejaculate for two to seven days prior to taking a sperm count test and not using commercial condoms containing chemicals that kill sperm. In addition, any container used to collect semen must be properly labeled and transported without containing saliva or vaginal secretions that could interfere with its accuracy.
Your doctor will use a microscope to perform an accurate semen analysis by inspecting several characteristics of sperm under microscope, such as count, motility and shape (morphology) which could impact upon their ability to fertilize an egg. They will also assess any acidity present in semen which might kill or prevent fertilization of eggs.
Your doctor will then go over the results of your sperm test with you and discuss them, explaining whether they think your results are normal, too low, or indicate something is affecting sperm production, such as an infection or condition such as diabetes. They may request blood work such as an infectious disease screen for syphilis, HIV and hepatitis C to verify these semen analysis results.
Getting the Results
Your doctor will use a special testing machine to analyze semen. Results usually become available within several hours if collected at home; otherwise they may take longer. Multiple samples may also be collected to ensure an accurate test; to obtain more precise results it is advisable not engaging in sexual activities that cause ejaculation for 2-3 days prior to being tested and using non-chemical lubricants that won’t damage sperm cells.
Semen analysis can provide many valuable insights into a man’s sperm health. It can identify both how many there are (sperm count), their shape (sperm morphology), the pH level of his semen (which can lead to acidity killing off his sperm or impairing their ability to fertilize eggs), motility or any infection or inflammation present that needs treating, among other details.
Semen analysis is often one of the first tests doctors administer to diagnose why men may have fertility issues and confirm if a vasectomy was successful.
Normal results from semen analysis typically consist of 20 million to over 200 million sperm count per milliliter of semen and a motility rate of 50% or greater. Other measurements taken into account in semen analyses include volumetric sample size, ability of semen to be turned to liquid form, and presence of white blood cells within its sample.