Let’s Say Your Semen Analysis Answers Are Abnormal

 

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Low or Abnormal Semen

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Abnormal Semen Analysis

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“A semen analysis needs to test abnormal twice to truly be abnormal.” Your semen analysis can be affected by recent illness, anxiety over the exam, and other various factors. Not abstaining from ejaculation for the three to four days before your test can also alter the results. Abnormal semen analysis doesn’t mean that you are infertile.

Not by a long shot. So, if your results have come back abnormal, the first thing you need to do is calm down, relax, and keep on reading. The word “abnormal” sounds scary, but it really doesn’t necessarily mean anything that bad. An abnormal sperm count may also indicate an underlying health condition. A normal sperm count ranges from 15 million sperm to more than.

Many semen analysis findings such as a slightly reduced sperm count (10 – 55 million / ml), poor motility or morphology or reduced semen volume may be linked to lifestyle factors and can be improved by implementing sperm-friendly habits. Abnormal semen analyses are most often caused by lifestyle factors, other medical conditions, blockage to the passage of sperm, or genetic conditions affecting sperm production. Some people use the words semen and sperm interchangeable, but they are different. Semen is the fluid emitted from the penis during ejaculation.

However, some men find out their semen analysis results were abnormal– meaning there is something wrong with sperm count, motility (the ability of the sperm to swim), or morphology (the sperm’s shape). So, what happens now that you know your semen analysis results are. People also require sperm analysis to check the success of a vasectomy. If sperm analysis results are abnormal, a doctor will typically recommend further testing to help find the underlying cause. A low pH level means you have acidic semen.

A high pH level means it’s alkaline. An abnormal pH can affect the health of your sperm and how well it moves. Liquefaction time. An abnormal semen analysis doesn’t mean that you are infertile. Many men with low semen analysis values can still father children — it just might take longer.

If you and your partner aren’t able to conceive through sexual intercourse, assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization might be an option. The answer to this is a resounding no. Human sperm production is a very inefficient process and a normal man has 96% of his sperm that look abnormal.

Fortunately, the shape of the sperm does not correlate to the genetic material inside. What is the most important value in a semen analysis that guides treatment decisions?

List of related literature:

Patients may present with concerns about recent changes in the testis or laboratory results showing a low testosterone level or abnormal semen analysis.

“The Nurse Practitioner in Urology” by Michelle Lajiness, Susanne Quallich
from The Nurse Practitioner in Urology
by Michelle Lajiness, Susanne Quallich
Springer International Publishing, 2016

Diagnostic tests: Semen analysis is the main test, whereby three semen samples are analyzed over the course of several weeks to check sperm count, sperm motility (sperm movement 4 hours after ejaculation) and sperm normality (counting percentage of abnormal sperm, must be < 20%).

“Introduction to Healthcare for Spanish-speaking Interpreters and Translators” by Ineke H.M. Crezee, Holly Mikkelson, Laura Monzon-Storey
from Introduction to Healthcare for Spanish-speaking Interpreters and Translators
by Ineke H.M. Crezee, Holly Mikkelson, Laura Monzon-Storey
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015

Male partner has abnormal semen parameters or abnormal results from sperm function tests.

“Family Practice Guidelines, Fourth Edition” by Jill C. Cash, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, Cheryl A. Glass, MSN, WHNP, RN-BC
from Family Practice Guidelines, Fourth Edition
by Jill C. Cash, MSN, APN, FNP-BC, Cheryl A. Glass, MSN, WHNP, RN-BC
Springer Publishing Company, 2017

This failure may be caused by decreased density or motility of sperm or to abnormal quality or volume of semen.

“Pharmacology E-Book: Principles and Applications” by Eugenia M. Fulcher, Robert M. Fulcher, Cathy Dubeansky Soto
from Pharmacology E-Book: Principles and Applications
by Eugenia M. Fulcher, Robert M. Fulcher, Cathy Dubeansky Soto
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014

Ideally, an “abnormal” sample should have at least two abnormal semen parameters prior to proceeding with a full evaluation.

“Male Infertility: Contemporary Clinical Approaches, Andrology, ART and Antioxidants” by Sijo J. Parekattil, Sandro C. Esteves, Ashok Agarwal
from Male Infertility: Contemporary Clinical Approaches, Andrology, ART and Antioxidants
by Sijo J. Parekattil, Sandro C. Esteves, Ashok Agarwal
Springer International Publishing, 2020

A mildly low sperm density may have little significance when semen volume, sperm motility, and the proportion of abnormal sperm are normal.

“Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility” by Marc A. Fritz, Leon Speroff
from Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility
by Marc A. Fritz, Leon Speroff
Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011

Significant abnormalities—such as greatly decreased sperm count or motility or a marked increase in morphologically abnormal forms—may require testicular biopsy.

“Illustrated Manual of Nursing Practice” by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
from Illustrated Manual of Nursing Practice
by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002

Moreover, a single abnormal test is highly sensitive for semen abnormalities, but may falsely label semen parameters as “abnormal” in up to 10% of males (73).

“Textbook of Assisted Reproductive Techniques: Two Volume Set” by David K. Gardner, Ariel Weissman, Colin M. Howles, Zeev Shoham
from Textbook of Assisted Reproductive Techniques: Two Volume Set
by David K. Gardner, Ariel Weissman, et. al.
CRC Press, 2017

The semen parameters that were measured included sperm concentration, volume, percentage of motile sperm, and percentage of sperm that were morphologically normal.

“Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)” by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Committee to Review the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans of Exposure to Herbicides (Eleventh Biennial Update)
from Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 (2018)
by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, et. al.
National Academies Press, 2019

If semen analysis has been abnormal on two or more tests, further andrological investigation is recommended.

“Oxford Handbook of Urology” by John Reynard, Simon F. Brewster, Suzanne Biers, Naomi Laura Neal
from Oxford Handbook of Urology
by John Reynard, Simon F. Brewster, et. al.
OUP Oxford, 2019

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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2 comments

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  • Yes doc said my partners sperm are just Bros they are not swimming and separating, just staying together. Stupid things wish they would do what they are meant too so I can get pregnant ����

  • I’m genuinely curious about something: Is there any attempt made to choose among the sperm cells? Meaning, the ones that are less mobile = easier to isolate, which would then essentially genetically select against high motility in future generations?