How Do They Test for a Low Sperm Count?
One of the most basic kinds of tests that a couple is likely to undergo during the process of having their fertility investigated is a sperm test. The sperm test will look for three things, in particular: sperm count (which is the number of active sperm in your semen), sperm motility (which is the percentage of your sperm that properly move forward and at the right speed) and sperm abnormality (which is a percentage of your sperm that do not show genetic problems).
(Your health care provider, incidentally, will probably do some testing for the female partner, as well. A doctor might test a woman’s FSH levels to verify that she has not entered menopause. The doctor may also check to see that the woman’s fallopian tubes are not blocked, which would interfere with ovulation as well as conception.)
Prior to your semen testing, you’re going to have to do some preparation. Usually, you’ll have to abstain from sexual activity of any sort for around five days prior to the test. This includes masturbation or any other activity that would lead to ejaculation. This is done so that your doctor can test your sperm when it is at its most potent. You’ll probably also be asked to avoid consuming any alcoholic beverages for a few days prior to the test for a low sperm count is done, as well.
The process of collecting the sample of semen is pretty straight forward. Usually, the man will ejaculate into a specialized lab container. Often, this will happen at home, and then the man will have a certain amount of time to bring the semen into the lab. In other cases, the man may be asked to ejaculate at the fertility office in a private room.
The test for a low sperm count is fairly quick, and you should have the results of your test within just a few days.