In the search for causes of infertility; and in several other cases, there is a need to perform semen evaluation. These days semen evaluation is a pretty complex procedure that involves a great number of different tests. But such complexity gives more accurate approach. That allows the problem to be discovered faster, and thus choose better and more effective treatment for the problem.
To perform semen evaluation a sperm sample is needed. Sample collection for these tests can be made in different ways. The most common way is masturbation. Some men are embarrassed about this method and some religions may be against masturbation. In that case doctor can offer other methods to collect sperm for semen evaluation. For example, special condoms (that contain no substances that can kill sperm) can be used to collect sperm sample. It is possible to use regular condom for that purpose but it has to be washed clearly to remove all the substances that can kill sperm.
The actual procedure of semen evaluation can be pretty complex and have a lot of different tests to check different properties of semen in search for different possible problems. The most simple and usual parameters being measured during semen evaluation are volume, sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm motility and liquefaction time. Of course, other parameters are also being measured but these tests are rarer and they are performed not in all cases.
As you can easily guess volume is a parameter that shows the amount of semen in one ejaculation. Some problems can low this parameter significantly.
Sperm count and sperm motility are probably the most important parameters that show quantity and quality of sperm. Sperm count is a number of sperm in a single ejaculation (It is usually shown per milliliter). And sperm motility shows the number of sperm that can move forward properly. A decrease in this parameter is pretty usual cause of infertility.
And such parameter as sperm morphology describes the form of sperm. It shows the percentage of sperm that has normal shape.
Liquefaction time is the parameter that shows how semen behaves with time. Right after ejaculation sperm consistency is pretty close to gel. And with time it becomes liquid - liquefaction time is the time needed for such transformation.
All these above said parameters belong to macroscopic evaluation of sperm. And in more complex semen evaluation other different parameters can be also measured.
Microscopic examination of sperm can involve such tests as a test for epithelial cells, a test for white blood cells and special checks for bacteria.
Semen evaluation is a pretty complex procedure and it is usually performed in laboratory. But these days to make these tests a little easier some companies have started to produce so-called home semen evaluation test. Of course, they are primitive but it is possible to perform simple semen evaluation with these tests. And what is most attractive in these tests is that the entire analysis can be easily made at home. And of course for more detailed semen evaluation a man needs to visit a doctor.