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Everything you wanted to know about semen analysis

Spermogram is the first and main analysis to which men are sent, if there are reproductive problems in the family. Despite the fact that the procedure is prescribed very often, patients usually have a lot of questions that, for various reasons, do not always ask their doctor.

Let us consider in this article the main questions and experiences that disturb men who are going to take a spermogram.

What is the need for a spermogram, why take it?

In reproductive medicine, a spermogram is considered a standard test, which is equated to the usual blood and urine tests.

Spermogram is a test of the ejaculate, which must be done in the following situations:

  • during examination by a reproductive specialist and preparing a couple for artificial insemination or IVF programs (each new cycle will require a new analysis);
  • during an examination by an andrologist or urologist to check reproductive capabilities. In this case, you will need not only the initial, but also re-delivery of the analysis after a period of time prescribed by the doctor, since the indicators can change depending on many factors, starting with lifestyle changes and ending with taking medications;
  • the man plans to be a sperm donor.

Where is the best place to get tested?

Having applied to an IVF clinic, patients are often interested in the question of where it is better to take an analysis – in the same clinic or better in an independent laboratory.

The analysis can be performed by any laboratory that has the necessary diagnostic equipment and appropriate specialists. However, due to possible differences in the assessment system and research methods, the analysis may be misinterpreted.

In this regard, doctors recommend taking a spermogram, like other tests, in the very clinic where you will be further examined and treated. The same recommendation applies to retests. To assess the dynamics of analysis indicators, it is necessary to pass each subsequent one in the laboratory where the first one was passed. As a rule, this is a sperm examination performed using the CAS system – an automated analysis of the concentration and motility of sperm.

Criteria included in a standard semen examination

The standard spermogram contains the following studies:

  • analysis of the physical characteristics of semen;
  • concentration and motility of sperm;
  • sperm morphology;
  • MAR test (IgG).

Each criterion includes a thorough examination of the semen using a variety of tests, equipment, and assisted analytical methods.

Is it possible to independently influence the spermogram results?

The answer to this question will be unequivocally yes. Sperm counts, like any other fluid in the human body, can depend on lifestyle, the presence of concomitant diseases, medication, etc.

Is it necessary to prepare for the test?
Given the positive answer to the previous question, we can say that preparation for the test is very important.

You can learn more about the preparation rules from the doctor of the clinic where you are being examined. And here we will note the basic rules:

  • obligatory abstinence from ejaculation before taking a spermogram for 2-7 days;
  • before taking the analysis, refuse to take alcoholic beverages, visit a bath, sauna or long-term hot baths;
  • the analysis must be carried out being healthy, without manifestations of acute respiratory infections, poisoning, etc. If a man has recently suffered any disease, it is necessary to notify the doctor about this, since this fact may negatively affect the result.

How is the analysis process carried out

Before you go to take a spermogram, it is better to pre-register. In this case, you do not have to wait, wasting your time in line.

Immediately before the check-in process, the clinic staff should issue a disposable container that will be signed with your name. Carefully check if your data is correct, this will help to avoid confusion with analyzes in the future.

  • To take the analysis, you must go to a specially equipped room, where you can be alone or with your partner / spouse.
  • As a rule, the necessary hygiene products should be present in the room and a relaxing environment should be created.
  • The only way to get ejaculate for spermogram is masturbation, this must be remembered if you came to the test with your spouse. It is not allowed to have sexual intercourse, even if it was interrupted, since in this case, part of the ejaculate may be lost.
  • In the event that part of the required portion was lost during the delivery process, it is necessary to inform the laboratory assistant about this.

Is it possible not to take an analysis at the clinic, but bring it with you?

There are some situations when the patient is forced to take the analysis outside the laboratory. Each such issue is resolved individually with the attending physician – reproductologist, andrologist, as well as the laboratory, where they will have to accept the results of the analysis at the agreed time.

In all other cases, the analysis takes place in a clinic, where there is everything necessary to ensure that the ejaculate indicators are as accurate as possible.

If, for some reason, you are taking the test outside the clinic, ask the laboratory about the conditions for transporting sperm.

  • You must have a specially prepared container, which was issued by the clinic’s specialists;
  • After collecting the material, you must tightly close the container lid;
  • The period of time during which it is necessary to donate sperm after collection to the laboratory is 3 hours;
  • It is necessary to observe the storage temperature within the range of 20-36 C.

Who can get my analysis?

As a rule, the study of semen does not take much time and most often the results will be ready by the evening if you passed the test in the morning. The result is given to the patient by the attending physician or registry. If the examination is carried out with the wife, she can also collect the results at your request.

Please note that the analysis result is not transmitted to strangers, not transmitted orally by phone. In some cases, the doctor can be asked to send it to you by e-mail, but it is best to pick it up yourself at the clinic, where you can immediately find out the interpretation of the data received.

What if you get a bad result?

No matter how trite it sounds, you shouldn’t worry, and even more so don’t look for answers to your questions on the Internet if you notice any deviations from the norm in the analysis. Discuss the situation with an andrologist who can correctly interpret the meaning of the findings and explain the result based on the situation.

Perhaps the rules of preparation were violated or you did not take into account important factors from the point of view of taking a spermogram. In many cases, after retaking, the results improve.

If there is no improvement and the doctor confirms the presence of certain disorders, then corrective treatment is developed and the patient is informed about all possible methods of reproductive medicine.

What happens to the ejaculate after analysis?

After the semen has been tested, it is disposed of. If the spermogram was carried out as part of artificial insemination or IVF programs, then the material is then prepared and used for its intended purpose.
In addition to taking tests, do not forget about such an important stage that is necessary for all married couples – pregnancy planning. Clinic Lada makes it possible to use this service with a discount.

Meteshkina Vladislava
Meteshkina Vladislava
chief clinical embryologist

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Клиника репродуктивного здоровья "Лада"
ул. Среднефонтанская, 19В, ЖК «Чудо-город» 65039 Украина, г.Одесса
(0482) 373747, [email protected]