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Re: Urology
Feb 22, 2002
Well it depends on your doctor if he/she needs to refer you or not. So first talk with your doctor.
As for how long it takes to get the results that depends on the lab doing the tests. The following comes from the webmd site. Gives you all the info and easy to understand.
Semen Analysis
The basic test to evaluate a man's fertility is a semen analysis. The sperm collection test for men who can produce semen involves the following procedures:
A man should abstain from ejaculation for several days before the test because each ejaculation can reduce the number of sperm by as much as a third. (The maximum number of sperm is usually obtained by abstaining for about four days.)
A man collects a sample of his semen in a collection jar during masturbation either at home or at the physician's office. Specially designed condoms may be available that will enable collection of a sample during sexual intercourse. (Regular condoms are not useful, since they often contain substances that kill sperm.)
Proper collection procedure is important, since the highest concentration of sperm is contained in the initial portion of the ejaculate.
The sample should be kept at body temperature and delivered promptly, because if the sperm are not analyzed within two hours or kept reasonably warm, a large proportion may die or lose motility.
A semen analysis should be repeated at least three times over several months.
Both the man and the woman should be present when the physician discusses the result of this analysis so that both partners will understand the implications. The analysis should report any abnormalities in sperm count, motility, and morphology as well as any problem in the semen.
Sperm Count. A low sperm count should not be viewed as a definitive diagnosis of infertility but rather as one indicator of a fertility problem. Counts of less than 20 million per milliliter are currently considered strong indicators of infertility, although pregnancy is sometimes possible even with lower counts if the woman is fertile.
Sperm Motility. At least half of total sperm count and no less than 10 million/mL of the sperm should be motile for normal fertility. Motility (the speed and quality of movement) is graded on a 1 to 4 ranking system.
Grade 1 sperm wriggle sluggishly and make little forward progress. (Sperm that, in fact, clump together may indicate that antibodies to the sperm are present.)
Grade 2 sperm move forward, but they are either very slow or do not move in a straight line.
Grade 3 sperm move in a straight line at a reasonable speed and can home in on an egg accurately.
Grade 4 sperm are as accurate as Grade 3 sperm, but move at terrific speed.
Testing for sperm motility may be particularly valuable for predicting the success of artificial insemination and which men might be candidates for the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) fertilization technique, in which the sperm is inserted directly into the egg and motility plays almost no role.
Sperm Morphology. Morphology is the structure of the sperm. About 60% of the sperm should be normal in size and shape for adequate fertility. Determining the morphology of the sperm is particularly important for the success of the fertility treatments in vitro fertilization (IVF) and ICSI.
Seminal Fluid. The seminal fluid (semen) itself is analyzed for abnormalities.
The fluid should be gray colored.
The amount of semen is important. Most men ejaculate 2.5 to 5 cc (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) of semen:
Amounts greater than 1 cc but lower than 2.5 cc may indicate prostate problems or frequent intercourse.
A semen sample that is less than 1 cc could indicate a blockage of the ejaculatory ducts or other tubular abnormalities.
No ejaculate at all may signal retrograde ejaculation.
High amounts of ejaculate may, in some cases, also contribute to infertility.
Sperm will be tested for how liquid it is. (Normal semen is liquefied within 20 minutes by certain enzymes.) Abnormal results suggest the following:
Overly sticky fluid suggests problems in the prostate gland (which add fluid to sperm).
Overly watery fluid suggests lack of sperm.
The amount of sugar (fructose) in sperm will be measured.
Since fructose is added to the semen in the epididymis, an absence of fructose indicates that an obstruction has occurred either in the vas deferens or the epididymis.
Conversely, if there is fructose in the semen but no sperm, then the channel from the epididymis is open but there is a defect in sperm production.
Other factors may also be measured in semen.

White blood cell counts are taken to detect infection.
Low levels of inhibin B, which appears to be produced only in the testes, may indicate blockage or abnormalities in the seminiferous tubules.
Low levels of another compound, alpha-glucosidase, may also indicate blockage in the epididymis.

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