Semen analysis is the microscopic examination of an ejaculate (containing sperm), to determine its volume, the number of sperm (sperm count), their shapes (morphology), and their ability to move (motility).
The semen is collected in a sterile specimen cup and given to your doctor’s office for analysis. In addition to collecting this sample directly into the sterile cup at the doctor’s office, there are other ways to obtain this specimen- speak with your Doctor (and if applicable to your Rabbinic/Halakhic Advisor) to determine the medically ideal process for obtaining this sample.
What it Tells You:
Once a sample is procured, the sample is analyzed with a microscope, producing quick results as to the quality of the specimen.
A basic semen analysis covers 5 main categories:
- Volume: The amount of semen present in an ejaculate
- Concentration: How much sperm is in the ejaculate
- Count: Total amount of sperm
- Motility: The movement of the sperm
- Morphology: The shape of the sperm
Preparing for your Appointment:
Prior to a semen analysis you will be asked to refrain from ejaculating for 2 to 5 days but not longer than that in order to get a healthy sample. The sample must then be tested within an hour of collection.
If you will be consulting a Rabbinic/Halakhic Advisor about this process, keep in mind: There is more than one way to collect a sample. Speak with both your doctor and advisor to determine the best way to do so in your situation and discuss the practical, medical, and emotional implications.
For additional information you can visit the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
REMINDER: Sperm counts and infertility do not define your masculinity.