Semen analysis enables your fertility specialist to identify potential causes of male infertility. Samuel Wood, MD, PhD, MA, MBA, HCLD/CC(ABB), FACOG, and his team at Gen 5 Fertility Center in San Diego, California, specialize in semen analysis and other fertility tests. They use the information to increase your likelihood of conceiving with assisted reproduction techniques. To discover more about semen analysis and its role in fertility treatment, call Gen 5 Fertility Center today or go online to schedule a consultation.
Semen is the fluid a man produces in his prostate gland that mixes with sperm from his testicles when he ejaculates.
If you experience difficulty conceiving, semen analysis might be one of the first tests you undergo.
Semen analysis can identify challenges, such as:
Abnormal pH levels
Semen’s normal pH level (a measure of the fluid’s acidity or alkalinity) is between 7.2 and 7.8. If the pH level is above eight, you could have an infection. A pH of less than seven could indicate a blockage in your ejaculatory ducts, which carry semen from the prostate gland when you ejaculate.
Semen volume should ideally be around 2 milliliters. A low volume of semen suggests there’s not enough sperm for optimal fertilization. Too high a semen volume could mean the sperm aren’t concentrated enough.
Semen is thick when you ejaculate, but after 15-30 minutes, it liquefies (becomes more watery). Liquefaction helps the sperm to move. If that doesn’t occur, sperm might struggle to travel very far.
Semen should be white, gray, or some variation of these colors. Red-brown discoloration could mean there’s blood in your semen. Yellowish discoloration might be due to jaundice (usually from liver disease) or a medication side effect.
Sperm problems the Gen 5 Fertility Center team can identify include:
A normal sperm count (the number of sperm in a sample) is over 20 million and could reach 200 million or more. A low sperm count can make conception more difficult.
Semen analysis highlights abnormal head, midsection, and tail shapes that affect the sperm’s viability. It can also identify immature sperm that wouldn’t be able to fertilize an egg. If more than 50% of your sperm have an abnormal shape, it reduces your fertility.
Optimal sperm motility is vital to fertility because of the distance sperm must travel to fertilize the egg. A motility score of zero means the sperm aren’t moving at all, so fertilization is impossible. A score of four means your sperm are moving well and should be able to fertilize the egg.
To learn more about semen analysis and its role in improving your fertility, call Gen 5 Fertility Center today or book an appointment online.