Semen Analysis Tests
Understanding the different tests and the impact each can have on results
While evaluating male factor through semen analysis seems relatively straight forward, there are different methods to the testing procedures and each method can have an impact on the overall results obtained. The information below takes steps to help patients understand the differences among the testing methods and their impacts on one's final fertility outcome.
Basic Testing with Results Derived by Man vs. Computer
One of the easiest and quickest diagnostic tests is a semen analysis. A basic semen analysis will evaluate the quantitative parameters including sperm count, concentration, motility and volume. A comprehensive semen analysis includes a basic semen analysis and the evaluation of morphology. The main parameters that are reviewed in order to determine the natural ability to conceive are concentration, motility, viscosity and morphology. While a basic semen analysis is fairly standard across the infertility industry, there are variations that can lead to a wide range of conclusions.
One of the major differences in testing that exists is that of man vs. machine. Currently, there are several options available where by a physician or large labs can utilize a testing system known as Computer Aided Sperm Analysis (CASA). CASA allows for high volume laboratories to produce a large amount of results without committing a large amount of time from their staff. Results obtained using CASA can have some substantial drawbacks. The most notable is the lack of ability by CASA to decipher between sperm cells and similar sized round cells. This inability can and does lead to inaccurate results being reported to the patient. Also, CASA has had problems determining accurate motility counts. The reason is these computerized machines are incapable of determining forward motility (needed for natural conception) and general motility. It is these setbacks that has prevented CASA from overtaking the human positions still held by some of the most upstanding and successful IVF labs in the nation. These are the very reasons why the Center for Male Infertility at MCRM Fertility, utilizes a well-trained, highly qualified, laboratory andrologist to ensure that every result is accurate and timely.
Men may have their fertility potential reviewed without the prior referral of a physician or by being a current MCRM Fertility patient.
Semen analysis testing is available Monday-Friday from 7:30am-2pm*,at our St. Louis laboratory and Monday-Thursday from 8:30am-1:30pm* at our Tulsa laboratory. Appointments are required. In many cases, appointments may be made for the next day and results available within three business days. Call 844-414-BABY to schedule an appointment or you may request an appointment and a MCRM Fertility staff member will contact you for scheduling.
(*) the availability and times of appointments may differ