“You want me to do what?!” That’s a common reaction when a lady partner asks her man to get his sperm tested. With infertility being a valid concern affecting one in five couples, lovers are looking for ways to proactively identify fertility issues before they try to grow their families. This increases their chances of conceiving once they are ready.
Since men are half the equation when it comes to fertility, verifying potency is a critical step in confirming fruitfulness. And one of the best ways to test male fertility is through a sperm analysis. Unfortunately, that usually means an awkward visit to a facility where the holder of the sperm masturbates to produce a sample. This has been an inherent part of the process—until now. Today, you can get the job done at home.
Read on to find out more about at-home semen analysis.
Semen, also called seminal fluid, is the ejaculated fluid and its contents, which includes sperm. In order to identify whether your sperm are healthy, evaluating the seminal fluid is also important because it helps the sperm travel more easily.
A semen analysis measures and observes your semen and sperm characteristics. A lab looks at your semen under a microscope and writes down its characteristics, some of which include:
Compare your results to normal ranges so you can easily see if any sperm or semen qualities are out of whack. Having a semen analysis done helps couples identify whether there will be any hiccups when they try to conceive. Or, for other couples who have already been trying for a baby for a while, a semen analysis can help determine which partner needs help restoring their fertility.
If you’ve ever looked into getting your semen analyzed, you have felt nervous about masturbating in some private room of a facility in order to produce your sample. The days of awkwardly handing over your cup of semen to some technician in a medical facility are over. Now, you can get a semen analysis done at home. Here’s how it works:
When you collect your sample at home, you can expect to receive a collection cup, preservative, temperature control pack, and prepaid shipping label so that your precious goods make it to the lab safely.
Also, make sure to follow any instructions before you use your kit. Some things to know before you test:
You’ve done the deed, and now the results are in. What do they mean? Let’s take a look at normal ranges of characteristics for semen.
The shape of sperm can affect its ability to travel and penetrate an egg. The shape includes the oval head as well as the midsection and tail. Some men who struggle with fertility may have abnormally shaped sperm. If more than 50% of your sperm are irregularly shaped, then it is an abnormal result that might be the cause of infertility.
Each load should contain a lot of sperm! A normal sperm count ranges between approximately 40 million to 900 million per sample, or a sperm concentration of 15 million to 260 million per mL. Even though it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, your chances drastically decrease if your sperm count is below 20 million during your at-home semen analysis.
Semen should be slightly alkaline at between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale. If your semen’s pH is off, it can affect your fertility. Abnormal seminal pH can also be a symptom of an infection or other malfunction with a man’s reproductive organs.
Similar to the sperm shape, at least half of your sperm need to have normal movement. If your sperm isn’t moving, it will have a hard time making it to the target to fertilize an egg. Look for this result to be above 50% of sperm with normal movement.
A normal range for ejaculate volume is between 1.5 to 7.6mL. This is the amount of liquid measured from the sample. A high volume, along with a low sperm count, may mean that your sperm is diluted. Low volumes can also make it more difficult to conceive if there is not enough seminal fluid.
Collecting your sample for your semen analysis is easier than ever today with at-home testing kits. If you’re ready to get your male fertility tested, you have the option to get it done with dignity from the comfort of your own home. Schedule an appointment with My Virtual Physician today to get your test ordered.