Anne Borkowski, MD

Reproductive Endocrinologist
Infertility Specialist

4250 Dempster St.
Skokie, IL, 60076
847-763-8850

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Tests for Male Infertility

At least 47% of infertility has a male component. Obviously, no treatment of the female should be initiated until it is documented that her partner is producing sperm capable of reaching and fertilizing the eggs. There are now many treatment options available for men with severe infertility. These are discussed in detail in the section on male infertility.

With the advent of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and testicular sperm aspiration in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is often possible to retrieve enough sperm to produce a pregnancy even if there are no sperm in the ejaculate.

The Semen Analysis

The manner in which the specimen is collected and transported can affect the outcome of the analyses. Sexual abstinence should be practiced for at least three days, but not more the four days, before collection.

The preferred method of collection is masturbation in a private room at our office or the chosen laboratory, using a sterile glass container. Lubricants or lotions sometimes contain toxic chemicals and cannot be used. Other elements such as saliva or tap water can also damage sperm. Sperm are evaluated using the Krueger Strict Criteria which includes:

  • Volume (amount of fluid which makes up the semen, usually expressed in milliliters).
  • Sperm count (number of sperm in a standard given volume).
  • Motility (percent of sperm that are moving when the semen is examined under the microscope).
  • Progression (forward movement of sperm cells).
  • Viability (percent of sperm that are shown to be alive by use of a special staining technique).
  • Sperm morphology (shape) and additional semen contents, such as white blood cells (which can indicate the presence of infection).

A normal semen specimen has the following parameters:

  • More than 20 million sperm per milliliter.
  • More than 50% actively motile.
  • More than 14% highly normal forms suggesting excellent fertilizing capacity.

Sperm require three months to develop and sperm examined today are reflective of conditions three months ago. Dr. Borkowski always orders a semen analysis as a part of the infertility evaluation to rule out male infertility.