Semen Analysis Efficacy in Revealing The Cause of Male Infertility

Health Insurance

Semen analysis is one of the most efficient tests for male fertility. Sub-fertile couples rely on this assessment to determine the cause of their infertility. The advantage of semen analysis over other tests assessing infertile couples is the standardization of semen analysis. Since the 1970s, the World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted rigorous efforts to create, edit, update, and disseminate a semen analysis manual to help care providers perform an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will perform semen analysis upon following the manual. This manual provides a complete guideline on effective steps for routine Bedford semen analysis. These guidelines include internal and external quality control techniques and assessments to determine sperm function. The manual enhances semen analysis standards.

Collection and assessment procedures of seminal fluid

Various secretions from male reproductive glands, including the testis, epididymis, prostate, and seminal vesicles, make up seminal fluid. Each gland contributes to the collection of seminal fluid. The amount of semen you produce during semen analysis will depend on your interval of abstinence and the technique used to collect semen samples. Your doctor will recommend abstinence from sexual activity for at least a week. However, sub-fertile men may collect semen samples after one day of sexual abstinence to ensure optimal semen quality.

The technique of semen collection influences sample quality. Most clinics require men to masturbate during semen collection. Although the erotic materials and isotonic lubricants do not impact the quality of samples, this method produces lower-quality semen than those collected at home.

Your doctor will measure the volume of collected semen samples to make relevant conclusions. Reduced seminal fluid indicates incomplete collection. This complication results from severe androgen deficiency and blocked ejaculatory ducts or bilateral absence of vas deferens.

Your doctor will perform additional tests to confirm obstructed ejaculatory ducts and bilateral absence of vas deferens. Testing your seminal fluid’s pH and fructose levels will provide enough information for an accurate diagnosis. Patients with obstructed ejaculatory ducts and bilateral absence of vas deferens produce e semen with acidic pH and significantly low fructose levels. Moreover, collected semen will lack spermatozoa. A physical examination can confirm the bilateral absence of vas deferens. A transrectal ultrasound will reveal dilated seminal vesicles in ejaculatory duct obstruction.

Biochemical tests assess the functionality of male reproductive glands. For example, the zinc and acid phosphatase test targets prostate function, the fructose test confirms seminal vesicle function, and carnitine and alpha-glucosidase reveal epididymis function. Although these biochemical tests are effective biomarkers of male fertility, most doctors do not include them in clinical diagnostic protocols.

 Factors influencing semen analysis results

Infertility can occur due to biological variability of sperm concentration, fertilization techniques (in vitro versus in vivo), and your well-being during seminal fluid collection. Your doctor will collect several semen samples to assess sperm concentration. Semen analysis requires multiple tests to diagnose male infertility accurately. Sexual abstinence before your sperm analysis appointment is necessary to ensure the estimation of a total sperm number that is closer to the true value. Contact CARE Fertility if you and your partner have fertility issues with scheduling a semen analysis appointment to diagnose your reproductive status accurately. 

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