In last’s month article, we talked about the best first lab test for women trying to get pregnant. If you missed that article, you can see it HERE.
Today we’ll discuss the best first lab test for men, the complete semen analysis.
The quality of the semen is the end product of a healthy body and reproductive system. Healthy sperm reflects a healthy amount of testosterone, a low degree of oxidation and an undamaged testicle.
As far as when to get a semen analysis, the decision is up to the couple, but here are some things to consider:
1. A semen analysis is fairly inexpensive and non-invasive, and can rule male factor infertility ‘in or out’ quickly.
2. There is no sense putting the female partner through a prolonged period of treatment without knowing if the male is also in need of treatment.
3. It takes 3 months of treatment to fully effect the sperm.
4. Men over 38 have a greater chance of oxidative decline of the sperm, although younger men can be effected as well.
5. Early or repeated miscarriage is possibly due to male factor.
6. Semen analysis tells you how the outside of the sperm looks. This tells you a lot, but you need a SCSA test to see the internal DNA quality.
The best way to have your semen analyzed is through a reproductive medical clinic. Your local HMO may not be able to run the complete tests, and may not have the most advanced equipment.
You don’t just want to get your sperm concentration and volume tested, you also want:
1. motility and forward progression
4. white blood cell count
And then you want to get this analyzed by a practitioner such as myself. There is a different standard used for IVF treatment than natural fertility, and you probably prefer sperm healthy enough for natural pregnancy.
Once you know if there is an issue, there is a lot you can do to improve sperm quality.
What are your questions or insights about male factor fertility?