There are many reasons why couples have trouble achieving pregnancy. A semen analysis is one of the tests the doctor will use. The test results will tell the doctor the number of sperm in the semen (your sperm count), whether they are normal (morphology), and how well they swim (motility). A low sperm count may be caused by certain medications or a medical problem such as a blocked duct, low testosterone level, or a condition in which sperm back up into the bladder. Fever can also reduce sperm count. Some men may have enough sperm, but their sperm may not swim well enough to reach the egg. Also, sperm that are not normal in shape may not be able to penetrate and fertilize the egg.
The semen sample is collected by masturbation at office in a private, comfortable room. The semen is collected in a sterile specimen cup. Another option is to collect the semen at home (during intercourse) in a special condom. The sample should be delivered to the office within 45 to 60 minutes after collecting it. If the results are not normal or the sample is not complete, this test may need to be repeated. Test results often vary, so there may be a need to do this procedure more than once.