Evaluation Of Male Partner
- In 50 % of cases, male factor is responsible for infertility. Hence a good semen analysis from a trained Andrologist is a must.
- Along with it, thorough history and genitalia examination throw light on erectile, ejaculatory and other problems like varicocele etc.
- Certain specialized tests like Sperm Function Test, DNA fragmentation rate and Mitochondrial assay are done in specialized circumstances so as to enhance the result.
- Sperm function test gives an idea of the capacity of sperm to fertilise an egg.
- DNA fragmentation rate gives an idea of genetically normal sperms. High fragmentation rate is associated with higher rates of abortion.
- The male partner is asked to provide a semen sample
- For a good semen analysis, one should abstain from sexual intercourse for 2-3 days. Lesser or greater abstinence may affect the report
- Intake of alcohol, caffeine or any sort of medications should be avoided for 2-5 days
- No lubricant should be used as it affects the motility
- Ideally the sample should be collected in a sterile, wide-mouth, labeled, tissue culture graded container within the hospital premises. However if collected at home, it should reach the hospital within 30 mins and should be maintained at body temperature
What is assessed in semen analysis ?
- Liquefaction: After the ejaculation, the semen sample is coagulated and needs to be liquefied in order to perform any tests. In normal conditions the semen is totally liquefied within 60 minutes after the ejaculation.
- Viscosity: When the semen sample is very viscous it may be a sign of a prostatic dysfunction.
- Volume: The normal volume of an ejaculate sample after 3 or 5 days of sexual abstinence is approximately 1.5 ml. Lower volumes suggests hypospermia.
- Colour: Semen is usually opalescent white, lightly yellow. When the colour is altered, it is recommended to study possible causes.
- pH: Values should be greater than 7.1. Lower values might be a sign of azoospermia (lack of spermatozoa) or chronic inflammatory processes.
- Sperm concentration: Normal values are around 15 million per ml ejaculated or 39 million per complete semen sample. When these values are lower it indicates Oligozoospermia.
- Motility: The percentage of motile spermatozoa and progressively motile is analyzed. The progressive motility value should be over 32%. If less it indicates Astenozoospermia.
- Vitality: The percentage of vital spermatozoa must be over 58%. Lower values indicate Astenoozoospermia.
- Morphology: Atleast 4% or more sperms should be normal in morphology. Lower percentage indicates Teratozoospermia.
- Leukocytes: When the leukocyte concentration is over 1 million per ml of sample it might indicate an infection (leukocytosis).