Since sperm issues affect around 40% of couples with infertility, it is important to do a semen analysis to identify any issues that may be present. The male partner should have between 2 to 5 days of abstinence, prior to collecting a semen sample for testing.
Semen Analysis or S.A. – a semen sample is collected through masturbation into a sterile cup. This “collection” can be done at home – only if - the couple lives within 30 minutes of the clinic. Otherwise, it should be collected at the clinic, using one of our available collection rooms. The test will measure the amount and quality of the sperm present in the semen sample.
This analysis provides the following information:
- Viscosity (resistance to flow)
- Motility (movement of the sperm)
- Count (number of sperm)
- Morphology (Structure or shape of the sperm)
- Volume of semen
It’s extremely important to have this particular information, because certain fertility treatments are less likely to be successful with low numbers of moving sperm and/or an increased percentage of sperm that are “abnormal” in shape.
In some cases, a physical examination may be performed (or ordered), to evaluate the pelvic organs — the penis, testes, prostate and scrotum.
Hormone tests evaluate levels of testosterone and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) to determine the overall balance of the hormonal system and specific state of sperm production. Serum LH and prolactin are other hormonal tests that may be done if initial testing indicates the need for them.
*Episona Test – Sperm DNA Test
Sperm DNA fragmentation testing measures the amount of damaged DNA in a sperm sample. All men have some amount of damage to their sperm DNA, but high percentages of damage may indicate greater difficulty achieving pregnancy with IUI and IVF.
The Episona sperm test looks specifically for epigenetic abnormalities in the particular genes with a known role in fertility and embryo development. Abnormalities in these genes correlate with male infertility, and knowing which genes are affected may offer new insight into why problems are occurring.
Information included in this test is a list of which genes had abnormalities (if any), so your physician can better approach your treatment.