Sperm quality and quantity
Male infertility affects almost half of all couples trying to conceive. Often a man could be completely healthy but produce poor quality sperm. Some men may have more serious medical problems, such as low male sex hormones or testosterone levels.
A semen analysis is the most important male infertility test, providing an accurate measurement of the number of sperm, motility (proportion of sperm that can swim) and morphology (sperm shape).
It is a simple test to undertake with the analysis best performed by a specialist infertility laboratory, such as the Andrology Department at Melbourne IVF.
How do you treat male infertility?
Cost of a semen analysis
The cost of a Semen Analysis is $160.00. Medicare rebate may apply to some tests when a valid Medicare card is available. If a
Pathology Request form is not presented or your tests are self-referred, the Medicare rebate may not
If sperm stick to each other head-to-head, tail-to-tail or in a mixed way, this is known as agglutination, and the presence of sperm antibodies may be the cause. Put simply, that means you have developed antibodies against your own sperm which can significantly affect sperm penetration into the cervical mucus and the success of standard IVF treatment. IVF with ICSI is used to overcome this issue as well. The cost for this is $115.
Organising a semen analysis
If you are a current Melbourne IVF patient, your fertility specialist will provide a request form, or you can ask your GP for a referral to Melbourne IVF for a semen analysis test.
Download the fertility referral form below.
Download a semen analysis request form at the bottom of this page.
Once you have booked your appointment, you may produce your semen sample at home and then deliver the specimen to the laboratory within one hour so as not to compromise the analysis. Alternatively, you may use a private room within our clinics at the time of your appointment if this is more convenient.
Instructions for providing a semen sample:
- Special sterile specimen containers are available from your GP, Melbourne IVF or a pharmacy.
- Avoid ejaculation (intercourse or masturbation) for two to five days before the test.
- Write your full name and date of birth on the specimen container.
- Produce the sample by masturbation, without lubricant or condoms. If masturbation is not acceptable, your fertility specialist can provide a special condom to collect a sample during intercourse at home.
- Deliver the sample to the laboratory within one hour if produced at home. In transit, keep the sample at close to body temperature, for example in a pocket close to your skin.
Checking underlying causes
Diagnosis of the causes of male infertility may require blood tests for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and testosterone. These play a role in the development and maturation of sperm. A chromosome analysis (karyotype) and other tests may be conducted if the sperm count is very low or zero. Referral to an andrologist (a specialist in male reproductive disorders) may be advised.
Causes of male infertility, the impact of lifestyle factors, and the tests and treatments available.