What is Sperm Test (Semen Analysis)? How is Sperm Test performed?
Sperm Test, also known as Semen Analysis, is a diagnostic test that evaluates the quality and quantity of sperm in a man’s semen. It is a crucial test in assessing male fertility and is often recommended for couples who are struggling to conceive.
The test involves examining various parameters of the semen sample, including sperm count, motility, morphology, and other factors that can affect fertility. By analyzing these factors, doctors can determine if there are any underlying issues that may be causing infertility.
Sperm Test is typically performed in a laboratory by trained professionals. Here is a step-by-step guide on how the test is conducted:
1. Collection of the semen sample: The first step in performing a Sperm Test is to collect a semen sample. This is usually done through masturbation, where the man ejaculates into a sterile container. It is important to collect the entire ejaculate to obtain an accurate analysis.
2. Sample handling: Once the semen sample is collected, it needs to be handled carefully to maintain its integrity. It should be kept at body temperature and delivered to the laboratory within 30 minutes to an hour after collection. If it cannot be delivered within this timeframe, it should be kept at room temperature.
3. Sample liquefaction: After the sample is received in the laboratory, it undergoes a process called liquefaction. This involves allowing the semen to sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes to become less viscous. Liquefaction is necessary to obtain accurate results during analysis.
4. Sperm count: The next step is to determine the sperm count, which refers to the number of sperm cells present in the semen sample. This is usually done using a device called a hemocytometer, which is a specialized microscope slide with a grid pattern. A small amount of the semen sample is mixed with a diluting fluid, and a drop of the mixture is placed on the hemocytometer. The sperm cells are then counted under a microscope, and the total count is calculated.
5. Sperm motility: After determining the sperm count, the next parameter analyzed is sperm motility. This refers to the ability of the sperm cells to move and swim. Motility is assessed by examining a small drop of the semen sample under a microscope. The percentage of sperm cells that are actively moving is recorded, and different categories of motility are identified, such as progressive motility (forward movement) and non-progressive motility (movement in place).
6. Sperm morphology: Another important parameter analyzed in a Sperm Test is sperm morphology, which refers to the shape and structure of the sperm cells. Abnormalities in sperm morphology can affect fertility. Morphology is assessed by staining a small portion of the semen sample and examining it under a microscope. The percentage of sperm cells with normal morphology is recorded.
7. Other factors: In addition to the above parameters, other factors may also be analyzed during a Sperm Test, depending on the specific requirements of the individual case. These may include pH levels, volume of semen, white blood cell count, and presence of any infections or abnormalities.
8. Interpretation of results: Once all the parameters are analyzed, the results are interpreted by a specialist. The results are compared to established reference ranges to determine if they fall within normal limits. If any abnormalities are detected, further investigations may be recommended to identify the underlying cause.
In conclusion, Sperm Test, or Semen Analysis, is a diagnostic test that evaluates the quality and quantity of sperm in a man’s semen. It is an important tool in assessing male fertility and can help identify any underlying issues that may be causing infertility. The test is performed in a laboratory by analyzing various parameters of the semen sample, including sperm count, motility, morphology, and other factors. The results are then interpreted by a specialist to determine if any abnormalities are present.