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Deciphering Male Fertility: Semen Analysis Explained – ARC Summit

by | Apr 15, 2024 | ARC Summit, News

Deciphering Male Fertility: Semen Analysis Explained – ARC Summit

Discussing the evaluation of infertility isn’t complete without addressing the male partner, who plays a crucial role. Approximately 30% of infertility cases can be attributed solely to male factors, and about 17% involve contributions from both partners.

For men, the semen analysis is critical. We advise collecting the sample after 2 or 3 days of sexual abstinence. This is typically done through masturbation in a private setting, ejaculating into a collection cup. While longer periods of abstinence might seem beneficial for increasing the volume of semen, they often result in a higher proportion of non-motile or dead sperm. Therefore, optimal semen quality is usually obtained if the last ejaculation was no more than two to five days before the test.

For example, if a man calls for an appointment on a Friday and is scheduled for the following Friday, we would advise him to ejaculate on Sunday and Tuesday, and then provide a sample on Friday. This schedule ensures that the semen sample is fresh but not too recent, giving us a representative ‘snapshot’ of his sperm health.

Additionally, it’s important to consider any history of testicular trauma or other factors that might affect sperm, such as potential antibody formation against sperm. Multiple semen analyses may be needed, especially if the initial results are abnormal. Since sperm regeneration takes about 75 days, any abnormalities detected might necessitate a reevaluation in three months. This timeframe helps us determine if the issue was temporary, possibly related to a transient illness or other factors affecting sperm production about two to three months prior.

Indeed, semen quality can serve as a vital sign for male health, providing insights into the individual’s physiological status several months before the test.

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