Determining the cause of infertility can take time and testing. But it’s important to remember either or both partners can experience fertility problems. About one-third of infertility problems involve a problem with the male partner, while the other two-thirds are related to the female partner or both partners.
Getting a semen analysis is a noninvasive way to rule out a number of sperm and semen-related issues. This test often occurs early in the treatment journey because it’s quick, easy, and helpful for targeting certain common problems.
At Gen 5 Fertility in San Diego, California, we serve patients from all over the world. Dr. Samuel Wood, Dr. Benito Villanueva, and Dr. Martin Bastuba recommend a semen analysis as an early testing method if you have been trying to conceive for more than a year without success.
A semen analysis involves collecting a sample at our office or your home within one hour of ejaculation. This ensures that dehydration or temperature change won’t affect the sample.
We then examine the semen (the fluid) and the sperm under a microscope to evaluate several fertility-related factors. Specifically, we target three sperm-related issues.
The sperm must travel quickly and efficiently to reach the egg. If your sperm has low motility, it can’t do this. Fewer than 20 million motile sperm indicates low motility in a semen analysis.
Stress, overheating, drinking, and smoking can contribute to motility problems, and remedying these behaviors could help. Treatment options like IVF or IUI could allow you to conceive more easily.
Your sperm count should be above 15 million per sample to conceive naturally. If you have a lower sperm count, it will show up in the semen analysis. Many of the same issues associated with low motility can also cause a low sperm count, but the problem could be unassociated with outside stimuli.
Treatments include dealing with infections and underlying issues such as erectile dysfunction. Hormonal testing could help you determine if low testosterone levels are to blame.
It’s common for some sperm to have an abnormal shape, but if more than half of your sperm have an atypical head or tail, it may be hard for you to impregnate your partner. An example of abnormal sperm shapes seen in a semen analysis can include sperm with double or no tails or heads that are the wrong shape or too big.
Sometimes, this issue is genetic, but the problem could be chemical exposure, an infection, or overheating. Whatever the cause, IUI or IVF can be great options to help you and your partner conceive more easily.
It’s often possible to conceive, even if you have one of the sperm issues mentioned here. Many infertility treatments can help you and your partner have a child, so determine which will work best for you.
Make an appointment to visit our San Diego office online, or call today. We can’t wait to help you make your dreams come true!