Semen Analysis & Sperm Count: What Does it Mean? What's Next?

The semen analysis is the corner stone in the evaluation of male fertility. Men are fortunate in that everything that they contribute to the fertility process leaves their body and can be analyzed out of a cup. The semen analysis does not tell you the underlying problem, but simply states the fertility potential of the ejaculate.

Every fertility encounter at The Y Factor centers around a discussion of the semen analysis and what is the best approach to achieve a pregnancy. A pregnancy can occur through one of three different methods: timed intercourse, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Timed intercourse is best used with the better-quality semen analysis. Artificial insemination is a better fit for lower quality semen analysis. IVF is to be used with the lowest quality or near zero semen analysis.

The Y Factor evaluates and treats men so that the quality of theirsemen analysis improves, allowing them to consider more natural options. We call this “upgrading men’s fertility” and our treatments are successful!

So back to the question, what is a normal semen analysis or how to use the semen analysis & sperm coun to predict your pregnancy?

The most predictive factor from the semen analysis is the count. Generally, timed intercourse is reserved for a couples when the semen analysis shows greater than 15 million sperm that swim well. The likelihood of success for pregnancy increases as the sperm count increases to a ceiling of around 70 million sperm in the ejaculate. The probability of pregnancy with sperm count above 40-70 million increases from 65%-85%, assuming female age less than 35 with no infertility problems. For women, the pregnancy success rates drop by 4% per year after the age of 35.

Men with sperm counts between 5-15 million can achieve pregnancy through timed intercourse or artificial insemination (AI). AI becomes more attractive in men with this lower sperm count in that AI deposits the sperm at the top of the uterus closer to the area of egg fertilization. The probability of achieving a pregnancy thru AI with men in this sperm count range is no more than 45%. Sperm counts below 5 million per ejaculate achieve pregnancies best with the use of IVF. IVF success rates become more heavily dependent on egg quality with average IVF pregnancy success rates of 30%-40% success (CDC 2016).

Sperm counts below 100 sperm TOTAL, in the ejaculate, are best disregarded. The best chance for pregnancy is a sperm retrieval from the testicles with IVF. Very low counts of ejaculated sperm often have poor DNA quality and have been associated with decreased IVF success rates, compared to the same couple in which the sperm is acquired from a sperm retrieval and use for IVF. The Y Factor evaluates for abnormal sperm DNA and helps you make fertility choices as successful as possible! Dr. Russel H. Williams has pioneered the use of sperm DNA to predict the fertility outcomes in the greater Houston area.

One last point before concluding this topic is that the other features of the semen analysis are the sperm motility (swimming ability) and the morphology (the shape of the sperm). The shape of the sperm determines if the sperm can enter the egg. If these are decreased, the percentage success of pregnancy per category decreases.

Come visit the team at The Y Factor and we can discuss how the count, motility and the morphology of your semen analysis can negatively affect your fertility and what would be your best next step for achieving that pregnancy!

Women have OB-GYNs & Men have The Y Factor!

Reference: Pregnancy predictions collected from CDC national registry/WHO standards on semen analysis and peer review medical literature.

Author
Russel H. Williams, MD Dr. Russel H. Williams is the founder, CEO and CMO of The Y Factor and brings more than 20 years of experience. Dr. Williams earned his Medical Degree at the University of Texas at Dallas Southwestern Medical Center, where he graduated at the top of his class. He completed his urology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, then completed a male reproductive medicine and microsurgery visiting fellowship at the New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, New York. Dr. Williams is an active member of the American Urological Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and peers recognize him as one of only a handful of Reproductive Urologists focusing on men's urological wellness & fertility.

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