Obtaining a reliable, accurate and complete semen analysis at the outset of the couple's infertility evaluation is important. This simple, inexpensive test allows clinicians to examine the semen sample in a number of different ways, offering insight into the likelihood of infertility related to the male.
The criteria evaluated in the semen analysis include among others:
Sperm Count (concentration); Volume; pH; Motility (motion and forward progression); Viscosity (thickness); Morphology (percent of normal forms) and the presence or absence of white or red blood cells.
Some male factor infertility may be related to antibodies that decrease sperm motion and/or fertilizing capabilities. If clinically applicable sperm antibody testing may be ordered.
Sperm to be used for intrauterine inseminations is specially prepared using a process called sperm washing. As the name suggests, the sperm are "washed" to remove the extra cells and debris and to obtain the greatest concentration of the highly motile sperm that will be used for the insemination.