Male Fertility Explained

Male Fertility 3 months after your vasectomy reversal at Duncan Harriss’s Your Vasectomy Reversal Clinic, sperm is analysed.  This is the recognised method of how to test for male fertility and indicates whether the vasectomy reversal has been successful.

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The semen results analysis is often available within a day or two. The results can by affected by the following factors: [list_bullet type=”star” ]length of time from ejaculation to analysis (ideally this should be half an hour)[/list_bullet] [list_bullet type=”star” ]contamination[/list_bullet] [list_bullet type=”star” ]not abstaining for 2-5 days prior to giving the sample[/list_bullet] [list_bullet type=”star” ]recent systemic illness (for example: a temperature for whatever reason).[/list_bullet]

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The analysis results will look at the volume of sperm per ml, their movement and whether they are anatomically correct.

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The Sperm

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Sperm Motility

Motility means movement and it is the amout of movement which is often more important that the amount of sperm. Sperm either move or they don’t: there aren’t many in between. Obviously, male fertility is about the ones that can swim to make the journey to the egg for fertilzation.

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There are 4 grades of Sperm as outlined by the World Health Organisation

  • Grade a: these sperm are the fastest, they know exactly where they need to go to. They are known as “fast progressive”.
  • Grade b: these sperm do go forward but slowly or in a wavy line. They are known as “slow progressive”.
  • Grade c: these sperm move their tails rapidly but go nowhere. They are called “non-progressive”.
  • Grade d: these sperm do not move at all. They are called “immotile”.
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Sperm Shape

A sperm should have a regular oval head, a mid-piece and a long straight tail, not dissimilar to a tadpole. Many laboratories use a set of criteria called the “Kruger” criteria which assess the percentage of normal sperm. A normal sample should have at least 15% normal, yes 15%!

 

Sperm Agglutination

This can affect male fertility because it is a situation where the sperm clump together in groups. When this happens, the sperm stop themselves from moving freely so it is difficult for them to move towards the egg. A result of greater than 50% is considered to be outside the WHO reference values (2010), and would suggest a reduction of fertilizing ability of the sperm. However,

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The Semen

The semen is produced by the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles. It is milky in colour.

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Semen Volume

The normal quantity in an ejaculate ranges from 2- 6mls.

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Semen Viscosity or Liquefication

Although as an ejaculate it is a liquid, it very soon becomes a gel and then after half an hour or so, it returns to be a liquid again and this is when the volume can be measured.

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Semen concentration

This is the number of sperm seen per million per ml.

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There is no other way of testing for male fertility with respect to sperm. This test provides details of current fertility. We have known sperm counts to increase and decrease and have had pregnancies where there were high levels of agglutination found at the 3 months post-op analysis. The results are for guidance only.

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If you need to book your 3 month post-op analysis or have a question, please contact Bev or Catherine by phone on 0845 9011 891 (daytime or 0800 559 3922 (evenings and weekends) or by email.

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