What is Semen Analysis Test?

Male Infertility

Dr. Suman

Aug 16, 2021

While getting the idea about what is semen analysis test,  a sperm sample is checked to know the overall sperm health.  This process is helpful for doctors to determine the underlying cause of a person’s inability to conceive. It is also used to confirm the outcome of vasectomy. 

Semen Analysis Test

In this article, we will discuss the purpose and procedure involved in sperm analysis, and will also explain what the results may mean. 

What is Semen Analysis Test?

Semen analysis, also known as a sperm count test, analyses the overall health and viability of a man’s sperm. It is a fluid consisting of sperm (and sugar and protein) that is released during ejaculation. In semen analysis three major factors of sperm health are measured:

  • The number of sperm
  • The shape and size of the sperm
  • The movement of the sperm, also known as “sperm mobility”

Often doctors conduct two or three separate sperm analyses to get a good idea of sperm’s health. As per the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), sperm analyses tests should be performed at least seven days apart and over the course of two three months. Sperm count can vary on daily basis. The most conclusive result can be achieved by taking an average of the sperm sample. The average semen analysis test cost from Rs 70 to Rs 400. In different cities the semen analysis test price is different so you can check it out with your doctor. 

Why to Opt for Semen Analysis Test?

People may opt for sperm analysis for different reasons. Most of the couples request for sperm analysis if they are not able to conceive even after trying for a year without protection. 

Nearly 40 to 50 percent of cases are of male issues when couples have been not able to conceive. Up to 2 percent of men demonstrate issues with their sperm that are due to one or combination of these:

  • Low sperm count in semen sample
  • Poor sperm movement, known as motility
  • Abnormal sperm size and shape, also known as morphology

People also go for sperm analysis to check if a vasectomy was successful or not. It is a procedure that a doctor carries out for permanent male sterilization. 

After a vasectomy doctor recommends for regular sperm analysis for several months to ensure there are no sperm present in the semen. 

There are several semen analysis testing locations near me are like Arogypro Health Care Pvt Ltd in Dwarka, Thyrocare Collection Centre, and Indraprastha Diagnostics dwarka and so on. So, these semen analysis test lab near me are reliable and offer reasonable price. 

How to Prepare for Semen Analysis Test?

Once you are ready for semen analysis your doctor will let you know what all you need to do for the preparation of semen analysis. To get accurate results it is very imperative to follow the instructions:

  • Before the test avoid ejaculation for 24 to 72 hours 
  • Prior test avoid taking alcohol, caffeine, and drugs like cocaine and marijuana for two to five days.
  • Stop intake of any herbal medication, as instructed by your healthcare provider
  • Avoid any hormone medications as instructed by your healthcare provider.
  • Do not use lubricants when collecting the sample
  • Before the test does not avoid ejaculation for more than 14 days 

Prior going for this test discuss with your doctor regarding if any medication you are taking.   

How is Semen Analysis Test Done?

During semen analysis test procedure you will be asked to provide semen sample for semen analysis. There are four ways to collect a semen sample.

  • Masturbation
  • Sex with a condom
  • Sex with withdrawal before ejaculation
  • Ejaculation stimulated by electricity

Among all masturbation is considered to be the preferred way to get a clean sample. 

To get a good testing sample two main factors play a crucial role. First, the semen should be kept at body temperature because if it gets too hot or too cold, the result will be inaccurate. Second, the semen must be delivered within 30 to 60 minutes of leaving the body to the testing facility.    

Test Interference

Some factors may have negative impact on the test result, including:

  • If semen comes in contact with spermicide
  • Lab technician error
  • Taking the test when you are ill or stressed
  • Contamination of the sample

There are no known risks associated with sperm analysis.

If the test result of semen analysis are not within normal limits and there had been no fault in specimen handling then your doctor may like to know whether you are taking the following substance, which are affecting your sperm count:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Herbs, like St. John’s wort
  • Recreational drugs
  • Tobacco

If you are worried about your fertility it is recommended to get semen analysis done. This will help you to get a more comprehensive evaluation of your fertility.

What are Normal Semen Analysis Test Results?

Within a few days the semen analysis test report should be ready. 

When considering the health of the sperm, several factors are considered during sperm analysis. Here are some of the factors we would discuss

Sperm Count or Concentration

Sperm count is referred to the number of sperm present in 1 ml of semen. As per WHO it is suggested that the normal sperm count is at least 15 million per ml or not less than 39 million sperm per sample.

Having less than this count indicate low sperm count. As per some research it is said that nearly 90 percent of male infertility issues are due to abnormal sperm counts. 

Sperm Motility

Sperm Motility is known as the ability of the sperm to move efficiently. Low motility can reduce the sperm’s capacity to move through the female reproductive system to fertilize the egg.

Often in a sample, nearly 50 percent of the sperm will show normal motility. 

Sperm Morphology

Sperm Morphology refers to the shape and size of sperm. Normal sperm has a long tail and oval-shaped head. Abnormally shaped and sized sperm usually face problems in reaching, penetrating, and fertilizing the egg.

In normal semen consists of 4 percent of sperm with standard form.

Other Factors

When assessing male fertility the medical professionals usually consider three main factors, sperm count, motility, and morphology, but they are not the only factors 

Some of the other factors doctors consider when doing sperm analysis include:

  • Volume of Semen Sample: It means the amount of semen a person provides in their sample. Usually, a sample should be at least half a spoon, if its less than this then it is considered that there blockage in the vessels through which sperm travels.
  • PH Level: If you have too high pH (alkaline) or too low pH (acidic) may affect your sperm health and their ability to move through the female reproductive tract.
  • Liquefaction: Normally semen is released from the body in a thick state. Liquefaction time assesses how long it takes for the semen to liquefy. If it fails to liquefy, or liquefies slowly, it may indicate a problem.
  • Seminal Fructose Level: Semen sample where there is no sperm the level of fructose is low. This indicates a problem with the function of the seminal glands.

Apart from the above here is the table indicating normal semen analysis result, and the rages based on WHO reference. 

Elements Semen Analysis Test Range
Total sperm count in ejaculate 39-928 million
Ejaculate volume 1.5-7.6
Sperm concentration 15-259 million per ml
Total motility (progressive and non-progressive) 40-81 percent
Progressive motility 32-75 percent
Sperm morphology 4-48 percent


What does an Abnormal Semen Analysis Test Result Mean?

As per Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if there is slightly abnormal sperm analysis, it does not mean that a person is permanently infertile. Instead, doctors can use this result to identify what factors are causing fertility issues. 

People who get abnormal result in semen analysis test usually undergo further testing to identify the exact issue. In several cases, the fertility issue of the person is resolved with the right treatment.   


A semen analysis is considered as one of the first test that a male undergoes to find out the reason for inability to conceive. People also undergo semen analysis to check the success of a vasectomy.

If your sperm analysis results are abnormal, a doctor will often recommend for further testing to help in finding the underlying cause and formulate a treatment plan. 

Several cases of male infertility are treatable by changing your lifestyle, medications, surgery, and other interventions. If these do not work the doctor may help people explore other options, like donor sperm or adoption.


How many days abstinence is required before sperm analysis?

Refrain from sexual activity (including masturbation) for at least 2 days and not more than 10 days. Longer or shorter period of abstinence may lead to lower sperm count or decreased sperm motility. 

What happens in semen analysis test?

For semen analysis you doctor will ask you for semen sample. You will be asked to ejaculate into a collection cup in a private room at your doctor’s office. Sometimes the sample can be collected at home also.

What is good sperm motility?

A total motile sperm count above 20 million is known to be normal. Lower than 5 million is poor sperm motility and less than 1 million is severe poor sperm motility.

What are the signs of unhealthy sperm?

There are several signs of unhealthy sperm such as problem with sexual function for instance, low sex drive or difficulty maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction), pain, swelling or lump in the testicle area, and decereased facial or body hair.

Which foods improve sperm?

There are a lot of foods that can boost sperm quality and count. Here are some of the foods like eggs, bananas, asparagus, walnut, and maca roots and so on.

When to take semen analysis test?

Semen analysis test is usually recommended when a couple is having issue in getting pregnant. This test is helpful in determining if the man is infertile. It also help in determining if low sperm count or sperm dysfunction is the reason behind infertility.


Speak to our infertility specialist +91 8969340069

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