Semen Analysis

What constitutes a semen analysis?

Once Innovative Fertility Center has collected the semen, the sample will be analyzed based on the following characteristics.

Sperm Count: Though it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg, a normal sperm sample should contain 20 million sperm per milliliter (mL) or more per ejaculation.

Morphology: The term morphology refers to the size, shape and appearance of the sperm. Every sample will have some abnormal-looking sperm. As long as more than 30 percent of the sperm have normal shapes, fertility issues shouldn’t arise.

Motility: This number identifies how well the sperm move. For conception to occur, sperm must be able to swim through cervical mucus, across the uterus and out into the fallopian tubes to reach the egg. If motility drops below 50 percent, potential problems may exist.

pH Levels: Ideally, sperm need to have an environmental pH level of 7.1-8.0 . When the number is too low or too high, sperm may die, or they may be unable to penetrate the egg and achieve fertilization.

Liquefaction Time: When sperm is ejaculated, it is contained in a gel like substance called semen.  In addition to sperm, semen also contains secretions from the prostate and the seminal vesicles.  Before sperm can be released from the semen, the gel-like substance needs to liquefy.  This usually occurs within 20 to 30 minutes after ejaculation. A semen analysis will check for normal liquefaction time.

White Blood Cells: When the sperm analysis detects white blood cells or bacteria in the specimen, an infection may be present and could hinder sperm function.

The Next Steps after a Semen Analysis

Once Dr. Rispler has reviewed the data from the semen analysis, he can make a recommendation on how to proceed. If the results are abnormal, he may suggest that your partner visit a urologist, a specialist who can identify and treat issues involving the male reproductive organs. The urologist can determine if physical blockages, hormonal deficiencies, retrograde ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, varicoceles or other problems are contributing to male infertility.

Though you may feel discouraged, Dr. Rispler has the expertise and advanced training to treat infertility. Once he has identified the cause of female or male infertility, he can recommend the appropriate treatment, which may include fertility medication, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilization (IVF), to produce positive results. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rispler.


Does an Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis Really Mean “I Don’t Know?”


Your reproductive endocrinologist chose his or her fertility sub-specialty to help find the causes of male infertility and female infertility, and resolve the issues. When your fertility specialist classifies your case as unexplained infertility, does that mean: “I give up?” Read more>>