Understanding Semen Analysis

Semen AnalysisWhen couples face difficulties conceiving, a semen analysis is often one of the initial steps in the fertility evaluation process. This diagnostic test provides valuable insight into male fertility potential and can help guide treatment decisions.

We at Fertility Associates of Memphis have taken steps to ensure our on-site lab, Memphis Fertility Laboratory, is one of the leading labs in the entire Mid-South. In fact, Fertility Associates of Memphis has the only laboratory in the Mid-South that offers specialized reproductive testing.

In this blog post, we will discuss what a semen analysis entails, what to expect during the procedure, and how the results are interpreted.

What is a Semen Analysis?

A semen analysis, also known as a sperm test or sperm count, is a laboratory test that evaluates various aspects of semen quality and male fertility. It involves collecting a semen sample and examining it under a microscope to assess sperm count, motility, morphology (shape), and other factors that can impact fertility.

Preparing for a Semen Analysis

To ensure accurate results, it is essential to follow specific guidelines before the test. These typically include abstaining from ejaculation for 2-5 days prior to the sample collection. It is also advisable to avoid substances like lubricants, medications, alcohol, and tobacco that could potentially affect sperm quality. Your fertility specialist will provide detailed instructions tailored to your specific situation.

The Semen Analysis Procedure

The semen analysis procedure is straightforward and typically takes place in a private room at the fertility clinic or laboratory. The steps involved in a semen analysis may include:

  1. Collection: You will be provided with a sterile container to collect the semen sample. It is important to collect the entire ejaculate in the container.
  2. Sample Delivery: To optimize the results of the test, we ask that you collect your semen specimen at our office where we have a private collection room. If you are anxious or unwilling to attempt collection in our office, please discuss collection at home with our Andrologist. If you are bringing your sample to us, once the sample is collected it should be delivered to the laboratory within the recommended time-frame, usually within 30 minutes to an hour. Keep the sample at body temperature during transportation.
  3. Laboratory Analysis: In the laboratory, a trained technician will examine the sample under a microscope. He or she will evaluate various parameters, including sperm count, motility (ability to move), morphology (shape), and other factors like volume and liquefaction time.

Interpreting the Results

The results of a semen analysis are usually provided in a report. It is important to note that interpretation should be done by a qualified fertility specialist. Some of the key parameters assessed in a semen analysis report include:

  • Sperm Count: This refers to the number of sperm present in a given volume of semen. Normal ranges vary, but typically a count above 15 million sperm per milliliter is considered within the normal range.
  • Sperm Motility: This assesses the percentage of sperm that are moving and their progressive motility, or the ability to swim in a forward direction. Motility is crucial for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg.
  • Sperm Morphology: This evaluates the shape and structure of sperm. Normal morphology is important as it impacts sperm’s ability to penetrate and fertilize an egg.
  • Other Factors: The report may also include information on semen volume, pH levels, liquefaction time, and the presence of white blood cells or other abnormalities.

Consulting with a Fertility Specialist

Once you have the results of your semen analysis, it is recommended to schedule a follow-up appointment with a fertility specialist or your referring physician. They will help interpret the results, provide further guidance, and discuss potential treatment options if necessary.


A semen analysis is a crucial diagnostic tool in evaluating male fertility potential. By assessing various parameters of semen quality, it provides valuable insights that can guide fertility treatment decisions. If you and your partner are experiencing difficulties conceiving, consulting with a fertility specialist and undergoing a semen analysis can be an important step towards achieving your dream of starting a family.

At Fertility Associates of Memphis, our on-site lab, Memphis Fertility Laboratory, stands out as a leading facility in the Mid-South. With cutting-edge technology and a commitment to excellence, we are proud to offer superior fertility care to our patients. We are accredited by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the State of Tennessee as a CLIA-compliant laboratory, and our lab is inspected by the FDA. It’s also certified by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which ensures the highest standards of excellence.

For more information about Fertility Associates of Memphis and our on-site lab, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at 901-747-2229.

Note: The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. It is always advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations.

, , , ,

Causes of Infertility Fertility Lab Fertility Laboratory Quality Infertility evaluation Male Infertility Semen Analysis

Comments are closed.

Like Us on Facebook!