A semen analysis is a microscopic analysis used to diagnose male factor infertility. Several parameters are evaluated:
- Sperm Motility (Percent of sperm that are moving)
- Sperm Concentration (Number of sperm in a given volume)
- Morphology (Percent of sperm with normally shaped heads and tails)
Practice Prep of Semen Specimens
Practice Preparation of a semen sample is often performed prior to treatment with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or IVF. The process of analyzing the semen sample is the same as an IUI preparation but without the insemination. The results provide information on how well the sperm make it through the separation process, and therefore are useful in determining what treatment is appropriate.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination requires a semen sample to be washed prior to insemination to remove the seminal plasma. Seminal plasma contains prostaglandins which could cause severe contractions if placed in the uterus. The semen sample is placed on top of 2 layers of separation media and spun in a centrifuge. The separation process allows for the collection of good quality sperm to be used for the insemination.
Processing of Sperm for IVF and ICSI
The semen sample is placed on top of 2 layers of separation media and spun in a centrifuge. The separation process allows for the collection of good quality sperm to be used for the insemination. For the ICSI procedure an additional step is added in which sperm swims up into fresh medium, resulting in increased sperm motility.
- Sperm freezing can be done for several reasons.
- Couples undergoing infertility treatment who choose to have backup samples in storage.
- If the male is going through cancer treatment or a medical procedure which can lead to male infertility.
Storage and Thaw of Donor Sperm
We are not a donor sperm bank. The Reproductive Biology Lab will store donor sperm that is ordered from a donor sperm bank and will thaw and analyze specimens at the time they are used.