Trying to Conceive
A semen analysis measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of sperm in a semen sample.
A semen analysis is usually one of the first tests done to help determine whether a man has a problem fathering a child. A problem with the semen or sperm affects more than one-third of the couples who seek assisted reproduction services.
Tests undertaken during a semen analysis include:
- Volume: a measure of how much semen is present in one ejaculation.
- Sperm count: a count of the number of sperm present per milliliter of semen in one ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology: a measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape.
- Sperm motility: a measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally.
Studies have shown that semen quantity peaks between the ages of 30 and 35, while overall semen quantity has been found to be lowest after age 55.
It has also been shown that sperm motility is best before age 25 and lowest after age 55. When comparing the number of motile sperm in men between the ages 30 to 35 with men over age 55, sperm motility decreased by 54%.
Researchers have also discovered that genetic defects in the sperm increase with age in men, possibly leading to decreased fertility, increased chance of miscarriage and increased risk of some birth defects.