Semen Analysis, Comprehensive is used to investigate male infertility and consists of several sub-analyses, which help determine the causes of infertility.
Semen Analysis, Comprehensive is also used in the monitoring of varicose veins and in the control of successful ligation of the seminal vesicles (vasectomy) as a method of male contraception.
Semen is made up of spermatozoa found in the seminal fluid (plasma). The function of seminal fluid is to provide nutrition and material for transporting spermatozoa to the endocervical mucosa. Male fertility can be affected by a variety of causes. The main reason among them is the decrease in the number of viable spermatozoa. Other causes may include abnormal sperm morphology as well as seminal plasma abnormalities.
Because difficulty conceiving is a male-related issue, a thorough semen analysis is an effective, non-invasive first step in evaluating a couple having difficulty having a child. At Diagnostiki Athinon, our commitment is to complete the semen analysis quickly, accurately and reliably, so that you can make an informed decision about the best course of action.
Early semen analysis and detailed spermogram can greatly simplify and speed up the search for the most effective treatment for the couple. Because it takes about 3 months to produce mature spermatozoa, there is often a delay of 4 to 6 months between treatment and changes as recorded in the spermogram. Thus, in addition to increasing the options, the detailed semen analysis and the improvement of its quality in various ways, can reduce the need for more complex treatments for the woman.
When should the Semen Analysis be done?
85% of couples will have children within a year when there is regular and normal intercourse without the use of contraceptives. This means ejaculation inside the vagina and preferably on the fertile days of the partner.
A couple is considered infertile if conception is not achieved after 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) of effort. However, when the woman is over 35 years old and as fertility rates begin to decline, it is considered wise to start the investigation after 6 months of effort. Thus, if a couple in whom the woman is under 35 has not conceived in one year or when the woman is over 35 and has not conceived in 6 months, a semen analysis (spermogram) should be performed and the investigation of fertility should begin - both male and female.
What if problems are found in the Semen Analysis?
Semen analysis has significant variability even within the same individual. Therefore, it is always advisable to perform at least two semen analyses in order to make any diagnosis. Some men have so much variation in sperm count values that more than two semen analyses must be performed to determine any abnormal condition. However, the most important first step in assessing male fertility potential is sperm analysis with the spermogram.
In 75% of cases, the causes of infertility can be found and many of the pathological findings in the spermogram can be reversed. But in a third of cases, the causes are not reversible. But in these cases, too, there may be alternatives to childbearing.
Unfortunately, there is no specific magic number in the semen analysis of men whose partners will become pregnant that differentiates them from those who will not. The wives of some men with very poor results in semen analysis can easily conceive. The wives of some men with excellent semen analysis results may have difficulties. However, men with good semen analysis results as a group will conceive at significantly higher rates than those with moderate or poor semen analysis results.
The Semen Analysis will help determine if there is a male factor involved in the couple's infertility. Some findings from sperm analysis indicate specific problems. For example, an increased white blood cell count may indicate inflammation. Of course, other abnormalities in the semen analysis are not so specific. For example, there are several causes for decreased sperm count (oligozoospermia) or decreased sperm motility (asthenozoospermia).
Terms used in the Semen Analysis, Comprehensive
During the examination of the sperm, various characteristics can be observed that concern the 4 basic quality characteristics of the semen, ie the volume of the semen, the concentration of the spermatozoa, their motility, and their morphology.
Thus it is possible to refer in the conclusions of semen analysis, one or more of the following medical terms:
Oligozoospermia (or oligospermia) is a condition in which the spermatozoa count is less than 15 million per ml or when the whole ejaculate has less than 39 million spermatozoa. There are different degrees of oligozoospermia (mild - moderate - severe). It may be due to damage during spermatogenesis (the formation of spermatozoa in the testes, testicular factors) or the presence of obstructions along the path of the spermatozoa (post-testicular factors) or it may be due to other factors (pre-testicular) such as hypogonadism. Oligozoospermia may be permanent or transient. A complete examination of the patient (except the spermogram) with additional laboratory tests can reveal the causes. Oligospermia is quite often associated with the presence of obesity or overweight.
Asthenozoospermia (or asthenospermia) is a condition in which there is a decrease in spermatozoa motility. It is the most common of the pathological conditions observed in the semen analysis and can be due to a number of causes. It is one of the most common infertility factors. Complete immobilization of spermatozoa (100%) is of course very rare - it occurs in 1 in every 5.000 men and may be due to genetic (inherited) metabolic disorders, hyper-microscopic structural abnormalities of the motor mechanism of the tail (primary ciliary dyskinesia), and necrosopermia.
The level of DNA fragmentation of sperm is higher in men with asthenozoospermia compared to men with oligozoospermia or teratozoospermia. As has been shown, high levels of DNA fragmentation are a strong indicator of male infertility.
Oligo-asthenozoospermia refers to the condition in which there is a simultaneous decrease in sperm motility and concentration or total spermatozoa count.
Teratozoospermia (or teratospermia) refers to the condition in which there is an increased percentage of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa. Teratozoospermia affects fertility. The causes are often unknown, but on many occasions, it can be due to the presence of other pathological conditions such as Hodgkin's disease, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease, lifestyle (obesity, smoking, etc.), and varicocele. Spherozoospermia, a special condition of teratozoospermia in which there is an increased percentage (> 85%) of spermatozoa with a spherical head without acrosome. This condition is rare and is accompanied by increased rates of infertility or the inability to have children. The diagnosis of all conditions of teratozoospermia requires great experience and specialization of the doctor in performing the semen analysis.
Oligo-Astheno-teratozoospermia refers to the condition in which there is a simultaneous decrease in spermatozoa motility, concentration, and/or total spermatozoa count as well as the presence of a large percentage (> 95%) of abnormal forms.
Azoospermia is a condition of a complete lack of spermatozoa in the semen. About 1-2% of the total male population is affected by this condition and is responsible for 20% of male infertility cases. It can be due either to a lack of testicular stimulation for spermatozoa production (pre-testicular causes), or due to testicular damage (testicular causes), or to obstruction of the ducts that prevent spermatozoa transport (post-testicular causes). The diagnosis of azoospermia requires special and careful observation in the semen analysis. To determine the possible causes, other laboratory tests are needed (apart from the spermogram), all available from the Diagnostiki Athinon. Azoospermia (as well as oligozoospermia) has been associated with the presence of obesity.
Polyzoospermia is the condition when there are more than 250 million spermatozoa per ml in the semen analysis. It can be a cause of infertility, as such a high concentration can make it difficult for spermatozoa to move. Polyzoospermia is usually associated with a decrease in sperm volume.
Hypospermia is a pathological condition in which the volume of semen is less than 1.5 ml. Sperm volume as measured in the spermogram depends on many factors (technical - sampling procedure, psychological mood, etc.) and can vary considerably. Hypospermia can be a cause of infertility only if combined with some other pathological condition, e.g. along with oligozoospermia.
Hypospermia is a condition in which the volume of sperm is greater than 6.0 ml. Hyperpermia can sometimes be the result of inflammation. In the case of inflammation, an increased number of white blood cells may appear on the semen analysis.
Aspermia is a pathological condition in which ejaculation is completely absent. One of the most common causes of aspermia is retrograde ejaculation due to medication or various surgeries.
Why choose us for your Semen Analysis?
The examination of the sperm, or Semen Analysis, is a complex medical analysis. At Diagnostiki Athinon we do much more spermograms than the typical microbiological laboratories and therefore all the staff has excellent experience in all phases of the semen analysis (pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical). Unlike other "spermatology" laboratories or in vitro fertilization clinics, in our laboratory, we perform all sperm analyses immediately after the sample is taken and perform all the necessary secondary and additional tests that may be needed either in the same semen sample or in other biological materials (blood, urine, etc.). This maximizes the information that can be obtained in order to make a definitive diagnosis and reduce the number of sperm tests that one may need.
Experience: Semen analyses are complex and technically demanding. Inadequate or insufficient semen analysis can lead to a significant loss of medical information, which can significantly delay the patient's treatment. Unlike many other laboratory tests, a semen analysis is based solely on the experience of those who perform it. At Diagnostiki Athinon we have advanced laboratory analysis protocols and all the tests are performed and supervised by the very experienced Laboratory Medical Doctor (Biopathologist), scientifically responsible for the laboratory.
Time: To have accurate results in semen analysis, the sample must be examined within one hour of collection. If not, measuring sperm motility as well as certain characteristics can be extremely inaccurate. At Diagnostiki Athinon, the test is performed at the laboratory, by appointment, while no other sample is analyzed at the same time. Ideally, the sample should be collected in the laboratory. However, it is possible to bring the sample from home by following the Semen Collection Instructions.
Location: At Diagnostiki Athinon we have a special discreet space for taking the sample, equipped with a TV & WiFi for the convenience of the patient during sampling.
Laboratory Completeness: During semen analysis, some findings may indicate the need for additional tests. At Diagnostiki Athinon, a medical clinical laboratory, we have the ability to do all the tests that may be required either in the sperm, or in the urine, or in the patient's blood, in order to fully investigate the causes of male infertility.
Medical opinion: The final results are not just numbers and measurements. They represent a medical reality. The results are discussed and analyzed by the laboratory doctor to the patient, clarifying possible questions. In addition, the results are discussed with your doctor, helping and participating in order to create the appropriate treatment plan in time.
We have up-to-date laboratory equipment, suitably adapted to the needs of semen analysis.
All sperm testing procedures are performed according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
We work closely with research and university institutions in Greece and abroad, in order to be able to provide patients and health scientists who trust us with a very large number of specialized and innovative laboratory analyses related to the investigation of male infertility.
Quality assurance throughout the whole process. Diagnostiki Athinon has been operating for many years and is certified with the ISO 9001:2008 quality management standard (now ISO 9001:2015) and in addition to participating in standard external quality controls, we participate in specialized quality controls related to the spermogram and sperm analyses.
Easy appointment process. There is the possibility for appointments on weekdays from 7.30 in the morning until 19.30 in the evening and in addition on Saturday from 8.00 until 11.30 in the morning.
Extremely fast response times and the ability, if necessary, to publish the results on the same day. Semen analysis reports (as well as for all tests) can be sent by e-mail, fax, and post or received in the laboratory, always ensuring medical confidentiality.
The results of the spermogram can also be published in English at no extra charge.
Access to Diagnostiki Athinon is extremely easy by all means of public transport and the car either for the delivery of the sample or for your appointment.
Our prices for the Semen Analysis, Basic, and the rest of the laboratory tests are most competitive.