Other factors used to assess sperm

  • Morphology: A sperm’s shape is also an important factor when it comes to conception. Ideally, sperm should have an oval head that is connected to a mid-piece and a long, straight tail. Abnormally shaped sperm will likely not be able to fertilize an egg. If too many abnormally shaped sperm are present in a semen sample, then it is likely that all sperm have some type of problem with them. 
  • Clumping: Obviously, if sperm is sticking together, there is a problem as clumping prevents proper motility of the sperm.
  • In addition to this criteria, the presence of white blood cells (or pus cells) will also be assessed. While a few white blood cells are normally found in semen, an abundance of these cells can indicate a seminal infection.

    Semen Analysis Results

    Semen analysis results are only as good as the fertility team performing the test. If semen has not been collected properly; the test was performed too long after semen collection; not enough time between ejaculations was given; or if a man has had a systemic illness within the last three months, results of the test may be incorrect.

    So long as the test was done properly and the results are normal, there is no reason to repeat the test. However, if the results come back abnormal, it is likely that additional semen tests will be done. Why the repeat? Quite simply, sperm counts and quality naturally fluctuate.

    As production of sperm can take several months, it is likely that re-testing will be performed several weeks apart over the next three to six months.

    Once a proper diagnosis has been made, you can begin to investigate your male infertility treatment options. Just which form of fertility treatment is best for you will depend upon the cause of your infertility.


    Table of Contents
    1. Semen Analysis
    2. Assessing sperm
    3. Can you trust the results?
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