Fatherhood is an enriching experience and becoming a parent is often viewed as part of your life journey, which is why it can be frustrating and create a level of anxiety when you are told that you might need to visit a fertility clinic to establish why your partner has not conceived.
There are various types of semen analysis, all of which serve the purpose of evaluating your level of reproductive health.
It is important to understand the options available to you and appreciate the fundamental differences between tests and the results you can expect.
Going for a seminogram
If you decide to make an appointment to see a professional who can evaluate your reproductive health it will almost certainly be suggested that you undertake a seminogram, which is the term used to describe a semen analysis.
The test is viewed as a routine procedure and it serves the purpose of giving medical professionals a comprehensive overview of your sperm.
The test aims to count the average number of sperm, together with a look at the shape and movement of your sperm.
The results provided by the analysis should provide a good indication of whether you have any fertility issues that need addressing.
Understanding the results
There are actually quite a few aspects of your sperm that the test will analyze and the main purpose is to see whether the results are in line with normal parameters.
The technicians analyzing your sperm will want to see that at least half of your sperm has a normal shape and what level of movement they achieve.
They will also look at the volume of sperm being produced and whether your sperm count is within the predetermined benchmark.
All of these aspects will normally be discussed with you and any anomalies highlighted.
Several ways to collect the sample
It is often assumed that the standard method of semen collection is to produce a sample into a sterile jar provided at the clinic.
This is not the only way that a semen sample can be collected and you might even be offered a bespoke condom that you can use during normal intercourse which will gather the required sample.
Ask about your options and discuss what you are most comfortable with if you have a clear preference about the way you are going to be providing a semen sample.
Prepare yourself for the test
In order to get the most accurate results from the test, it is often recommended that you refrain from ejaculating at least 3 days before you are due to provide a sample.
If you produce a sample too soon after a previous ejaculation it could lead to a lower sperm count than you are actually capable of.
Your diet can also make a difference
It is also worth asking whether you should refrain from drinking alcohol or taking certain drugs before you take your test.
What you eat, and whether you have had a cold or infection shortly before providing a sample can influence the test result.
Preparing yourself for this important analysis should ensure that you get the best chance of providing a quality sample that allows a clear overview of whether you might need some assistance with your reproductive health in order to enjoy the prospect of fatherhood in the near future.