Is That Semen Sample Telling the Truth?
Do you have to provide a semen sample? Has a recent analysis delivered unhappy results? The problem may indeed be with your sperm, it may be with the semen analysis itself, or it may stem from some easily correctable health habit.
Margins for Error in Semen Analysis
The way the semen is collected and processed can play a major factor in the results. Time is of the essence; sperm cells start to die after about an hour, and their motility decreases. A too-cool or too-warm sample may also yield a false verdict of sub-standard sperm. (Body temperature is ideal to maintain the sample.) Even the choice of container makes a difference; the sample should be stored in a sterile, tightly sealed container and kept upright at all times. Just get a container from the fertility specialist or lab. Start off right.
No two semen samples are going to produce the exact same results.
Don’t despair if the first sample is bad news; we typically take two or three such samples over an extended period of time to get a more accurate measure of your sperm quality.
You should be aware, however, that your own health and behaviors can affect the sperm sample as well. We recommend that men abstain from sexual intercourse or masturbation from 2 to 7 days before producing a sample; this window seems to provide the best balance between sperm count and motility.
Smoking, drinking or drug ingestion can also lead to a disappointing analysis result, so refrain from these substances for at least 10 days before giving a sample. Caffeine and certain medicines are also a potential problem. Dehydration can lower sperm count, so keep up that your daily water intake too.
Still concerned? Contact your friends at Fertility Institute of Texas. We can make sure your samples are analyzed accurately and give you any advice or treatment you might need to conquer male infertility.