Whether you have been struggling to conceive naturally, or you simply want to understand more about your fertility, we provide fertility tests. You need to have a fertility test before you can start a cycle of IVF treatment. The fertility test we carry out at TFP includes a semen analysis that is required prior to treatment.
One in seven couples have difficulty conceiving and male infertility can be a major factor in this. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive or you aren’t trying for a family yet, but you want to find out your fertility health, booking a fertility test with us is the best course of action.
If you book a male infertility test with the NHS, you may be subject to extremely long waiting times, delaying your family plans. Having a male infertility test in a private clinic, like TFP, ensures you will get seen quickly, you will have your test results explained thoroughly and you won’t be rushed through. Instead, you will be treated with care and attentiveness.
Whatever your concerns or reasons for booking with us, at TFP we offer thorough male infertility testing to help confirm your next steps, your treatment options and the best course of action. Booking a male infertility test with us is one of the best ways to understand your fertility status and the likelihood of successful conception.
Sperm DNA can be damaged by various factors in similar ways to the cells in the rest of our body. However, sperm are unique in that they cannot repair this damage.
To list just a few ways in which sperm can be damaged:
Varicoceles (an enlargement of the veins within the scrotum)
If you were referred to us through the NHS, you leave your referral form with reception upon checking in. If you have referred yourself for semen analysis, you will be asked to make payment when you check in.
A member of the laboratory team will come to collect you from reception, and show you to one of our private production rooms. They will check your identifying details (name, date of birth) and provide instructions:
Produce a sample into the pot
Fill out the information on the envelope provided (time, abstinence period, and whether all the sample went into the pot)
Place the pot in the envelope and leave it in the production room basket
If any part of the sample isn’t collected in the pot, inform a staff member
You are then free to go home.
Some patients suffer anxiety over producing a sample. This reaction is quite common. Therefore do not be alarmed if you feel you cannot produce a sample on a particular day. You can always re-book (at no extra cost), or take the pot home for a less clinical environment. If you do produce the sample at home, please ensure:
You use the pot provided by TFP
The sample is not exposed to hot or cold temperatures
Our laboratory receives it within one hour of being produced
Abstain from ejaculation for the correct number of days
Avoid/lower alcohol and drugs intake. Even some prescription drugs can affect sperm count, so check with your doctor
Eat a healthy diet full of antioxidants
Ensure the whole sample (especially the first part) are in the pot.
Missing the pot or incorrect abstinence can significantly affect the results. If either is the case, ensure a laboratory staff member is aware.
If you make lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking, it is likely to be around 3 months before a positive effect is seen in semen analyses.
The most common cause of infertility in males is due to abnormalities found in the sperm. This is why our initial investigations for male infertility include semen analysis.
If you’ve had a recent assessment elsewhere, our embryologists will look at the results and decide whether another should be done. Fertility can change, even if you have already fathered a child. This may be due to illness, a change in lifestyle or age.
A semen analysis will be required to assess any of the following:
The likelihood of achieving a pregnancy with your partner
Determining which treatment is the most appropriate for you and your partner
Diagnosing a sperm problem that may require medical help to achieve a pregnancy
For storing semen as a back-up for treatment or before medical treatment or a vasectomy.
All of our semen analyses are performed using World Health Organisation Guidelines. In addition to the sample’s volume and pH, our sperm fertility test assesses the following:
Sperm density: This measures the number of sperm you have. If you are diagnosed with having a low sperm count, this is known as Oligozoospermia.
Sperm motility: This measures the ability of your sperm to swim. If your sperm have poor motility (Asthenozoopsermia), this means that your sperm do not swim well and this can mean sperm struggle to reach the egg without medical intervention or help.
Sperm morphology: This refers to sperm size and shape. Sperm that is abnormally shaped can be a factor in male infertility. If you are diagnosed with low numbers of normal morphology sperm, this is called Teratozoospermia.
After your sperm analysis, the results will be discussed in-depth at your initial consultation appointment.
Our specialists will talk through what the results of your sperm analysis show, how they might affect your treatment and how they will help influence the method of treatment that is appropriate for you.
A result of normal sperm means you have a good chance of conceiving (obviously dependent on any issues your partner may have).
If you have Oligozoospermia, Asthenozoospermia, or Teratozoospermia, you still have a chance of conceiving, but the time it takes to achieve a pregnancy is likely to be longer.
A result of normal sperm means you will be recommended for IVF (in vitro fertilisation), or IUI (intrauterine insemination).
IUI is when you produce a semen sample, which is washed and prepared so that only the best sperm remain. These are then injected via a catheter into your partner’s uterus. She will have been monitored so we know there is an egg waiting for them.
IVF involves putting prepared sperm and eggs in a dish together, and leaving them to fertilise. The resulting embryos are then observed for 5 days, and the best one selected to put into your partner’s uterus.
If you have Oligozoospermia, Asthenozoospermia, or Teratozoospermia, you will be recommended to undergo ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). This is when a single sperm from the prepared sample is injected into each egg. The resulting embryos are then observed for 5 days, and the best one selected to put into your partner’s uterus.