A semen analysis is a test to evaluate the husband's sperm. It is one of the least expensive, least invasive tests in the standard fertility evaluation. To perform the test, the husband is asked to abstain for at least two days, preferably three, and no more than seven days. He is then instructed to ejaculate into a sterile cup and bring the sample to the office within one hour.
Upon receipt of the sample, the first thing done in the laboratory is to look at it and describe anything unusual about its color or appearance. Next, the sample is measured for its volume. Finally, a drop of it is placed into a special counting chamber, such as the Makler chamber, which is what we use in our office.
By counting how many sperm fall into the squares of a precisely calibrated grid and by distinguishing the moving sperm from the non-moving sperm, a sperm count and motility are calculated.
The basic two features evaluated are the sperm count and the sperm motility. The count refers to how many sperm there and the motility refers to how many of them are moving.
There are also more detailed features that can be determined about the sperm, such as the morphology and the DNA integrity.