Basic Semen Analysis
What is Semen Analysis?
Basic Semen Analysis is the first step in determining male fertility. It measures and looks at everything outside of the sperm – how much sperm is present, and how it looks and moves.
Why should I get a semen analysis test?
- You’re curious about your fertility – Maybe you and a partner are considering having a child in the future, and you want to know where you’re at
- You’re worried about fertility – Perhaps infertility is in your family, or you’re worried your lifestyle may have impacted/be impacting your fertility
- You’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while, but it hasn’t happened yet.
At FlowLabs, we measure:
- Volume of sample: How much semen is produced. 1.5 ml is considered good.
- Concentration: The number of sperm per ml of sample. More is better. Usually anything over 15Million/ml of semen is considered good.
- Vitality: The percentage of sperm that are alive in the sample. Anything over 58% is considered good.
- Motility: Movement of the sperm. Forward moving sperm is important for egg fertilization. Total motility of 40% is considered good.
- Morphology: How the sperm look. This measurement looks at the size and shape of sperm (head, mid-piece and tail). Anything greater than 4% normal looking sperm is considered good.
- IGG/IGA binding: Antibodies are produced by the body and can attack the sperm, causing issues in fertility. Antibodies against sperm come in two different forms IGA and IGG. If antibodies are present in the semen, this can be one reason for fertility issues.
* Note: Semen analysis testing is covered by OHIP with a signed requisition from your doctor.
Extended Semen Analysis
While basic semen analysis measures and looks at characteristics on the outside of the sperm (how it looks, moves, etc), extended semen analysis looks at and analyses the genetic material (DNA) contained inside of individual sperm cells in different ways. Looking at the DNA contained inside the sperm gives even more information regarding fertility.
What is DNA Fragmentation?
DNA Integrity Assay /DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI) is the measurement of the DNA damage of each sperm cell. This occurs when either one or both strands of DNA break. We use a flow cytometer for our analysis – which is a fancy machine that gives the most accurate DFI results!
Why should I get a DFI test?
- Your semen parameters are ok, but you still have unexplained infertility
- You’re curious about your fertility – you’re concerned your lifestyle may have or may currently be affecting your fertility
- You’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while and have been unsuccessful
- Multiple pregnancy losses (2+)
At FlowLabs we measure:
- The percentage of sperm cells containing measurable DNA damage
- Normal Sperm DNA Integrity (DFI ≤ 15%) – excellent to good fertility potential
- Borderline Sperm DNA Integrity (DFI > 15% to ≤ 30%) – good to fair fertility potential
- Abnormal Sperm DNA Integrity (DFI > 30%) – fair to poor fertility potentiaI
What is Aneuploidy?
Sperm Aneuploidy occurs when there is either an extra chromosome, or a chromosome is missing. Normal sperm have 22 chromosomes + either an X or Y chromosome making the total 23 chromosomes per sperm. These chromosomes make up the DNA of the sperm. Sperm aneuploidy will lead to developmental abnormalities and or miscarriages. Down Syndrome is an example of a genetic condition caused by an extra chromosome (chromosome 21)
Why should I get an Aneuploidy test?
- Multiple IVF or ICSI treatments have been unsuccessful (2+)
- You’ve had multiple miscarriages (2+) and don’t understand the reason behind it
- Unexplained male infertility
At FlowLabs, we measure:
- The frequency of aneuploidy in the following chromosomes