Should medics set a goal of finding out which analysis could be referred to as the most intimate one, a sperm test would be for sure claimed to be as one of the leaders. 

And, besides, it is rather important, although not prescribed too much often. Hence, “what stories will tell us tailed things?” or “spermogram procedure”.

Below-waist test

“Why should I need it, doctor?” – a typical man would cry after having been prescribed a spermogram test. “How exactly will I have to do it?” – such would be much more important question crossing his mind. Another inevitable thought: “If things went that far, I’ve got some grave, incurable disease”.
In fact, a sperm analysis is just a test for male fertility, that is an ability for fertilization. The doctor’s task is to properly assess indications to the test and interpret its results. The patient’s task is to properly get prepared for the test and collect the “matter”.

When is spermogram to be prescribed?

First and foremost, it concerns the cases of unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child. Should any hormonal disorders be suspected, one would first have to be tested for content of reproductive hormones (FSH, LH-testosterone, prolactin) and then pass the spermogram test. The process of preparation for artificial fertilization (IVF or ICSI) also involves ejaculate tests. Apart from it, men whose urogenital systems were found to be affected by inflammatory diseases (prostatitis, vesiculitis, epididymitis, orchitis) are also recommended to pass spermogram tests.

Proper way to prepare for the test

Sexual continence is recommended for at least 2 but not more than 7 days before the day of ejaculate donation. During this period men are not recommended to consume alcohol, medical products, attend public baths or saunas.
If you caught cold and have a fever, you’d better postpone the tests until your complete recovery.

How is the test passed?

A sterile container is to be used to collect ejaculate. Special isolated chambers are provided at many clinics for this purpose. Fresh issues of popular journals for men are often used as the means of technical support.

How many times one should pass the test?

If no departures from the norm are detected, no further tests will be required. Should the doctor dislike any parameter, the procedure would perhaps need to be repeated 1 or 2 weeks later. If an inflammatory or hormonal disease is to be treated, extra spermograms will help assessing the effectiveness of treatment.

Which parameters are they?

The basic spermogram item is the quantity of spermatozoa contained in 1 ml of ejaculate. If they are less than 20 million in number, the likeliness of fertilization will be reduced materially. On the other hand, should the quantity of spermatozoa exceed 120 million, such a situation might not be good either – spermatozoa would create a crowd and be restricted in their movement towards the target.

It is also deemed important to assess the quantity of live spermatozoa. If they are less than 50 %, the alarm should be raised. Motility of spermatozoa is another important factor, which demonstrates their ability to reach an oocyte quickly. The normal value should be at least 60-70 % of motile spermatozoa.

The presence of leucocytes and spermatozoa that tend to stick together points to genital system inflammatory diseases.

Are there any uniform normal values of parameters?

Basing on WHO recommendations, the so called reference values were introduced as a standard. To calculate those values, there were tested a great number of healthy young men whose female partners attained pregnancy within the period of one year.
As a matter of fact, it does not mean that lower-parameter patients have no chance to conceive a baby. Much would depend on bodily individual properties. Hence, “preventive” spermogram testing seems to be pointless. Spermogram tests are more applicable to the cases where there exist practical conception problems, or the risks of infertility generation become higher.

Would spermogram test results suffice to diagnose male infertility?

Should any hormonal abnormality be suspected, one would have to be tested for the content of sex hormones. Even if spermatozoa are found absolutely normal, the presence of anti-spermal antibodies would represent the infertility cause in 10 % of cases. Since recently this parameter has been added to spermograms by many clinics. In most cases, however, it is the spermogram test that enables to ground the male infertility diagnosis and define the reason thereof.