What You Need to Know About Sperm Test

What You Need to Know About Sperm Test

What You Need to Know About Sperm Test (Spermiogram)

A Sperm test is a microscopic test which is performed to investigate the reproductive potential of men. Infertility, the biggest concern of people who want to have children, is seen in one out of every 6-7 couples. About 600 thousands marriages take place in Turkey each year and about 90 thousand couples are faced with the problem of infertility per year. The specialists of the Andrology Department of the Memorial Healthcare Group give information on sperm test-semen analysis.

What is Sperm (Semen Analysis) Test , Why is it Done?

Generally, in case the couple cannot conceive within one year although they have regular sexual intercourse and they do not use a contraceptive method, they should have a sperm test done. In our day, couples marry at a later age and so the age to have a child also increases. It is recommended for the spouses to have an examination together when a problem is detected in conception. For men, besides general physical examination, the necessary hormone tests, genetic tests if needed and the investigation of the sperm test- semen analysis even if it was performed in the past are recommended. Sperm test should be done in a fully-equipped healthcare center.  

Sperm/semen analysisis done for the evaluation of the quality and the number of the sperms in couples who cannot have children despite regular sexual intercourse for one year as well as in cases affecting the sperm production in the testicles such as varicoceles, orchitis, undescended testicles, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Before thesperm test, the couples are received to the examination room together and the history of the male patient regarding his diseases in his childhood, puberty and adulthood is taken and his detailed examination for reproductive organs is done. The sexually transmitted diseases and chronic liver, kidney failures, lung diseases, hypertension, thyroid and diabetes are also investigated. Before the sperm test,the occupational adverse conditions of the patient, his bad habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption, the contraception method of the couple and the sexual intercourse frequency are learned. Respiratory infections, problems in smelling, milk-like discharge from the nipples and severe headache can be considered as important tips. After the detailed examination, screening tests including thesperm (spermiogram, semen analysis) test are started.

In Which Department is Sperm Test Done?

You can have the sperm test (Spermiogram) done in the In-Vitro Fertilization Center or the Andrology Department of a fully equipped hospital. The most important criterion in choosing a hospital for sperm test is to prefer a fully-equipped hospital with a sufficient number of specialists. The proficiency of the departments in their subject leads you in the most correct way and prepares your patient-specific treatment options.

How is a Sperm Test Performed?

Asperm test (spermiogram) must be performed by specialist physicians and in fully equipped hospitals. The male patient must turn in the sperm sample to be used in the sperm test to a well-equipped center after at least 2 days and at most 5 days of sexual abstinence. Sperm test results are ready the next day. Your physician may request at least 2 sperm tests 3 to 8 weeks apart.

It is recommended that the sperm sample is obtained in a hospital environment. It is also recommended that patients who are having difficulty in providing a sample in the hospital environment, to admit their sample to the laboratory in the shortest possible time at near body temperature. Patients who are unable provide a sample by masturbation may obtain a sample with the help of their partner by using special condoms which are developed for sperm analysis that do not contain toxic substances for sperm. The obtained sample should then be evaluated in the laboratory within 1 hour.

 During the sperm test, you should pay attention to the following points;

  • Do not use soap, lubricants, etc. during the sperm obtainment process for the sperm test.
  • The penis and your finger should not touch the inner surface of the provided sperm container or its lid.
  • All of the ejaculate should be deposited within the container during the process. Should you encounter problems such as ejaculate spillage etc. you have to inform the laboratory staff.
  • If you are unable to provide a sperm sample in the laboratory environment, you should inform the laboratory staff or the IVF department patient consultants and discuss a suitable method for you with your physician.

 How Should the Spermiogram Results Be Evaluated?

 Normal values of the spermiogram are as follows;


Evaluated Parameter

Normal value

Max-Min Value

Volume (mL)



Number of spermatozoa per ml / ml (106 / ml)



Total number of spermatozoa (106 / ejaculate)



Total forward mobility (%)



Living spermatozoa (%)



Shape (normal %)




≥ 7.2



When are the Spermiogram Results Ready?

The basic spermiogramevaluation is ready within 1 hour. Sperm staining is then performed for morphological evaluation. After the sperm cells are stained with a special staining method, at least 100 cells are examined under a microscope to examine the structural features and morphological abnormalities and the normal morphologic sperm ratio is calculated. Following this evaluation, the analysis of the sperm will be ready the next day.

Points to Pay Attention for Sperm Quality

In order to have positive results from the evaluation of your sperm test, you should make some changes in your lifestyle. Sperms are quite sensitive to environmental conditions. They may be affected adversely from inconvenient conditions.

Pay attention to fast food consumption!

You should avoid eating habits with fast food prominence for your sperm quality. Fast food type eating corrupts the structure of sperm mucosa due to high cholesterol and by diminishing fertilization ability, it can cause infertility.

Avoid smoking and alcohol!

Another factor that affects the quality of sperm is smoking. Besides smoking, being in places with secondhand smoke and being a passive smoker also affect sperm production adversely. Also, alcohol consumption is a factor that affects the sperm quality. Researches have shown that the consumption of more than 60ml alcohol per week affects sperm production negatively. Also steroids, antidepressants, some antibiotics with sulfamide and some medicines that are used in cancer treatment are harmful for sperm quality, mobility and production.

Your working conditions are important

Sperms can be affected from your work environment. In the people who are in close interaction with agricultural pesticides, sperm quality can decrease and infertility problem can emerge. As a precaution, covering their mouths with a mask while working prevents the harm of the pesticides via respiratory way. This group generally consists of farmers. Also, people who are exposed to radiation as a part of their jobs, workers in iron foundries and workers in bakeries, which are among the hottest environments, should be careful.

Excessive heat is a reason for infertility

Excessive heat always affects sperm production adversely. Hot water tubs or saunas definitely are not recommended for men who are facing an infertility problem. Also, constrictive underclothes can diminish sperm quality as a result of the expansion of testicular vessels because they cause excessive heat. 

Sexually transmitted diseases

The other important factor that affects the quality of your sperm is sexually transmitted diseases. Some infections that cause harm to male genital organs may cause infertility by affecting the progress of sperm negatively (by obstructing the canals or diminishing sperm mobility).



Updated Date: Jan. 31, 2017Published Date: Jan. 31, 2017