May 25, 2019 By Dr Chandrika Kulkarni
Can one personally check sperm quality?
Sperm is the male reproductive cell which fuses with the egg to form a zygote. Various factors need to be correct for a successful conception like the correct time of ovulation, good quality of sperm, good quality of eggs, a favourable environment in the uterus, etc. Hence, sperm quality is one important factor which is essential for a pregnancy to occur.
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There are various parameters that determine the quality of the sperm and its fertilizing potential. Some factors that determine sperm quality are:
- Sperm count
- Sperm Motility
- Semen volume
- Total sperm number
- The shape of the sperm
- Degree of fragmentation
Hence, it is evident that the evaluation of sperm quality requires careful examination of various semen parameters. Can one check these personally at home?
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At-home sperm tests:
Most of the at-home sperm test kits only evaluate the sperm count in a given sample. All the other parameters like motility, morphology, etc. of the sperm are not measured by a home sperm test. Moreover, the quality of the sperm can not be determined just by visually examining the sample and hence, a totally normal-looking ejaculate can have pretty low sperm parameters. A home sperm test can let you know if the sperm count is healthy or not, but it can not measure other parameters like motility, fragmentation, etc. which are equally responsible for causing male infertility.
Hence, if you are looking planning to have a child in the near future, or are simply concerned about your sperm health, visit a fertility specialist near you and do not rely solely on home sperm tests, as it can be quite misleading.
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