The sperm count of a male is a key part in fertility treatments such as IVF and ICSI. If a male has a low sperm count it can lead the couple to make a decision to move on to a donor program or seek other treatment options. A lot of men are very reluctant to face the reality that they may be the reason for the infertility, this reluctance makes undergoing a test difficult on some occasions. The fact of the matter is that receiving a semen analysis should be done sooner rather than later. All too often the blame for infertility is placed upon the shoulders of the women, but that is clearly not always the case.
Uses for Semen Analysis/Sperm Count
Semen analysis is most commonly used in two instances, both of which have to do with fertility. The first reason is that a male will have this procedure done after a vasectomy to see if it was successful; it will also be conducted after a vasectomy reversal to see if that was successful as well. Another common usage for a semen analysis is to determine if the male partner is the reason for a couple’s infertility. In conducting a semen analysis a specialist will examine for irregularities and for abnormally low sperm counts, both of which can lead to a failed pregnancy attempt.
Irregularities in sperm can mean any number of different things. For example, a sperm may be rendered ineffective if it has a double tail or a double head. There have also been instances where individual sperm are simply too small to be useful. If any of these problems or others are discovered, a specialist may be able to offer a viable option for treatment.
Collection for Semen Analysis/Sperm Count
The most common method for a doctor to collect the semen sample is by having the male subject masturbate and ejaculate into a cup. Other methods include the male and his female partner partaking in intercourse while making use of a condom that is specially designed to retain a sample of semen. The other common option that is chosen for couples is for them to participate in intercourse as they normally would, except towards the end of intercourse, the male ejaculates into a cup. This process is referred to medically as, coitus interruptus.