Sperm count is the concentration of sperm per millimeter and is regarded as normal when it is higher than 20 million sperm per millimeter. The average number of sperm is 60 million per millimeter – which is less than it used to be just a few decades ago. A sperm count of less than 20 million is known as oligozoospermia and a total lack of sperm is known as azoospermia.
The most common way for sperm to be collected is for the patient to masturbate into a clean cup, usually at the location where the testing is to be done. Alternatively, a sample can be produced into a collection condom made from silicone or polyurethane. Samples must arrive at the testing location within two hours.If a blockage is suspected semen can be collected directly from the epididymis. Pregnancy rate varies directly in relation to sperm count, so the higher the sperm count the more likely that pregnancy will occur.
Testing is done by Computer Assisted Semen Analysis and is usually based on image analysis.Semen testing is usually undertaken at the recommendation of a GP and takes place at a specialized laboratory using methods approved by the World Health Organization.
Recently a home testing kit has become available that Test accurately and easily in the privacy of your home! They include sampling implements, slides, solution and a microscope so you can easily test your sperm in the privacy of your own home.
Semen quality can vary considerably between samples, even in fertile men.
Sperm counts can be affected by many illnesses including fever or infection. It may take several months for the sperm count to recover. To properly check a semen analysis two semen samples are required. The tests should be spaced about two to four weeks apart.
If a low sperm count is discovered does that mean the end of your chances to conceive a child? Not necessarily – there are steps that you can take to improve not only your general health but in turn the health and number of sperm being produced.