A semen analysis evaluates the several key characteristics of a man’s semen quality. It helps evaluate male fertility for those either seeking pregnancy or conversely verifying the success of a vasectomy.
It provides a snapshot of a man’s statistical fertility, usually with respect to the WHO fertility guidelines, at a certain point in time. Whilst it can provide important insights, it cannot help identify causes of male factor infertility.
The two measurement methods available are a home kit or laboratory analysis. The home kit measures just a few characteristics and is very tricky to handle. The results may serve as a starting point, but the home kit cannot replace a full professional laboratory analysis, conducted by fertility specialists.
Semen can be collected by epididymal extraction, masturbation, condom collection or coitus interruptus. Of these methods, masturbation is most widely preferred way. The collection and precise measurement method may significantly influence results.
What gets measured in a semen analysis?
A semen analysis typically measures
- the sperm count, i.e. number of sperm per milliliter of ejaculate (more),
- sperm morphology, i.e. shape (more)
- motility (ability to swim forward) of the sperm (more)
- concentration of white blood cells (more),
- level of fructose in semen (more),
- total semen volume (more),
- pH (more),
- liquefaction time (more)
A number of factors such as diet, physical trauma of the testes, exposure to high temperatures and radiation”Agarwal et.al. (2009) Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 92, … Continue reading can significantly influence semen analysis results.
Results for a single man may have a large amount of natural variation over time””Adequate Analysis Frequency”. Kokopelli Technologies. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-11″.
A test showing a so-called subfertile result should therefore be confirmed with at least two further analyses approximately 2 to 4 weeks after”Weschler, Toni (2002). Taking Charge of Your Fertility(Revised ed.). New York: HarperCollins. p. 189. ISBN 0-06-093764-5″.
Relevance for fertility
Due to the probabilistic nature of human fertility, the characteristics typically measured by semen analysis are only some of the factors in semen quality.
It is thought that up to 30% of men with a normal semen analysis actually have abnormal sperm function”Understanding Semen Analysis. Stonybrook, State University of New York. 1999. Retrieved 2007-08-05“ and may therefore still struggle to father children. Conversely, men with poor semen analysis results may go on to father children – because even a small chance may prove large enough”Essig, Maria G.; Edited by Susan Van Houten and Tracy Landauer, Reviewed by Martin Gabica and Avery L. Seifert (2007-02-20). “Semen Analysis”. Healthwise. WebMD. Retrieved … Continue reading
The NICE guidelines define “mild male factor infertility” as when 2 or more semen analyses have 1 or more variables below the 5th percentile, i.e. in the lowest 4%. In these circumstances the guidelines consider the chance of pregnancy occurring naturally through vaginal intercourse within 2 years similar to people with mild endometriosis”Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems“.
Although a single semen analysis is not conclusive, it is an essential step in evaluating male and therefore a couple’s overall fertility profile. It is imperative that both partners are educated regarding the value of the results as well as their limited value for interpretation.
How to Increase Male Fertility Naturally
The sperm generation process is particularly sensitive to external factors. These include trauma (heat, physical force), energy and nutrient supply for the cells “under construction” as well as oxidative stress.
Research has shown that oxidative stress is probably the single biggest factor for decreased male fertility and DNA damage. Fortunately, this factor can be influenced quite easily. Hundreds of scientific studies have conclusively demonstrated that sperm quality can be quadrupled through the consumption of particular antioxidants and micro nutrients such as L-Carnitine, L-Arginine or Glutathione.
These male fertility nutrients are the base therapy for any couple that seeks to conceive quicker and wants to increase chances as well as protect the men´s DNA from oxidative stress.
When should men consider taking micro nutrients?
Fertility specialists used to recommend multi-month nutrient supplementation mainly to both men and women as the standard preparation for IVF and other fertility therapies. Today, they are increasingly recommended for all aspiring fathers, especially at the age of 35 and above, because of their proven effectiveness and affordability.
What are the benefits of male fertility nutrients?
- At less than £40 / €50 per month the costs of male fertility nutrients are low. This applies especially when compared to the high and unpredictable costs of artificial fertilization treatments such as IVF as well as the indirect costs of becoming pregnant.
- The nutrients effectively increase the main sperm quality parameters: count, motility, morphology, volume and protect the DNA from oxidative damage.
- The ingredients are safe nutritional supplements proven in their efficacy. Side effects are not to be expected.
- The nutrients have other beneficial effects, e.g. they contribute to the functioning of the immune system.
All male fertility nutrients
Dr. Kooner is Deputy Director of The Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago and has been a Specialist in Fertility Treatment since 1999.
As well as the areas that the clinic specialises in general, he is particularly interested in managing oocyte donation, female same-sex couples, single women having sperm donation and those considering egg freezing.
Dr. Kooner regularly speaks at fertility meetings. He has published in national journals and constantly contributes to the fertility research and publications from Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago.
|↑1||”Agarwal et.al. (2009) Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic waves (RF-EMW) from cellular phones on human ejaculated semen: an in vitro pilot study, Fertility and Sterility, Volume 92, issue 4, (pp.1318-25)”|
|↑2||””Adequate Analysis Frequency”. Kokopelli Technologies. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-11″|
|↑3||”Weschler, Toni (2002). Taking Charge of Your Fertility(Revised ed.). New York: HarperCollins. p. 189. ISBN 0-06-093764-5″|
|↑4||”Understanding Semen Analysis. Stonybrook, State University of New York. 1999. Retrieved 2007-08-05“|
|↑5||”Essig, Maria G.; Edited by Susan Van Houten and Tracy Landauer, Reviewed by Martin Gabica and Avery L. Seifert (2007-02-20). “Semen Analysis”. Healthwise. WebMD. Retrieved 2007-08-05“|
|↑6||”Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems“|