Sperm analysis is usually one of the first procedures that are recommended when a couple has been unable to get pregnant. It tests things like sperm volume, morphology, sperm count, motility, and white blood cell count. Couples who are preparing for a semen analysis might be nervous, and wonder what to expect. Here is a short outline of the sperm analysis procedure.

Your fertility clinic is going to need a good semen sample. Many doctors recommend that couples refrain from sexual activity for a few days before the sample will be produced. This is done because sperm count is at its highest when a man has not ejaculated for a while. It is not a good idea to abstain for weeks on end before the sperm analysis, because a lack of sexual activity can affect the factors that are tested for negatively.

The sample itself is normally collected at the fertility clinic or doctor’s office, and the man is asked to ejaculate into a clean cup provided in a private room. Those who have issues with the way the sample is produced, and have religious objections to masturbation for instance, can collect the sample in alternative ways. A special condom that does not kill semen might be given to you, or you can use the pull-out method during intercourse to ejaculate into a clean cup.

The result of the semen analysis is available very quickly – usually the next day. After you provide your semen sample to your healthcare provider, different factors that can affect fertility are tested by a lab technician.

You will know about the number of sperm you produce, and its quality. If your sperm has normal values on all counts, your doctor will tell you what additional testing he or she recommends, and what the next step will be. If there are issues with your sperm, ways on improve sperm count, motility or morphology might be suggested.

We’d love to hear from you if you have been for semen analysis. How did you prepare for the procedure, and how did you feel about it?