Learn what to do after an abnormal semen analysis
As 40% of infertility has a male factor, the specialists at our Nashville fertility clinic want men to understand what it means to have an abnormal semen analysis. They also want patients to know what to expect from the next steps.
Because an abnormal result can sometimes stem from issues with the initial test, we first have the man provide another semen sample for evaluation. To ensure the test provides accurate results, we ask the hopeful father to practice abstinence for the 48 hours prior to the semen collection.
If the repeat test also yields abnormal results, our team will do bloodwork to test the man’s hormone levels. In addition, he will be referred to a local urologist who will do an evaluation to determine whether he has any medical or anatomical issues that could have affected the analysis.
What an abnormal semen analysis could indicate
Various conditions can cause an abnormal semen analysis.
- Varicocele is an enlargement of the veins that drain the testicles. It is usually discovered during a physical exam. A varicocele could diminish the flow of blood out of the testicles, which could increase the temperature and affect sperm quantity and quality.
- Obstructive azoospermia is another potential cause of abnormal results. It occurs when sperm is being produced in the testicles but can’t be ejaculated due to a blockage. This could be caused by vasectomy; infections of the prostate, testicles or reproductive tract; scar tissue from surgery or congenital conditions.
- Non-obstructive azoospermia is present when a man produces extremely low quantities of sperm, or no sperm at all. The causes include genetic issues, a problem with the maturation of sperm, use of testosterone or other anabolic steroids, chemotherapy or radiation.
- Hormonal imbalances can cause an abnormal semen analysis.
- Medical issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, certain inherited genetic diseases or the use of various medications can affect sperm health.
Men can rest assured that the doctors at our Nashville fertility clinic will do everything possible to discover the cause of their abnormal semen analysis and develop an effective treatment plan.
How we treat male infertility challenges
We have numerous ways to treat male infertility. In vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is one of the most effective options. It allows an embryologist to inject a single healthy sperm into an egg. Other methods for moving past male infertility include lifestyle changes, certain medications and a sperm donor in some cases.
Our Nashville fertility clinic doctors will work with patients to select treatment options that provide the best chance of taking home a healthy baby.
Contact us to learn more about abnormal semen analysis.