A man’s fertility primarily depends on the health of his sperm, so much of our testing centres on assessing the number and quality of sperm present in a man’s semen. We will also assess your partner’s fertility, so we have a complete picture of how we can best help you as a couple.
Please note, patients must book an appointment and obtain a referral letter from a GP before providing the clinic with a semen sample for analysis.
The primary test used to assess male fertility is a semen analysis. A standard semen analysis includes assessment of:
When requested, additional testing can be performed on a male’s sperm by our scientists at the time of semen analysis. These tests include:
If the semen analysis and other sperm tests show significant abnormalities that will make a natural pregnancy difficult, a second semen analysis is always performed to rule out a temporary interruption to quality sperm production, e.g. acute illnesses such as viruses may temporarily affect male fertility.
If the semen analysis results persistently fall outside the normal range, your specialist will assess you for any treatable and reversible conditions. This will often include blood tests to check for possible genetic and hormonal causes, as well as an ultrasound.
Based on the results of your semen analysis and other tests, your specialist will discuss available treatment options with you. This may include IUI, IVF and/or other techniques such as intracyctoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) or sperm freezing.
If you are diagnosed with azoospermia (i.e. a complete absence of sperm in the semen) and no treatable cause can be identified, a testicular biopsy (see below) may be offered to assess for the presence of any retrievable sperm for use with assisted conception techniques.
For your convenience, we conduct all our semen analyses and male sperm testing on-site at the Newlife IVF Andrology Laboratory in Box Hill, Melbourne. Our semen analysis facility meets the World Health Organisation’s 6th edition standards, reflecting the latest recommended testing criteria. We are also one of only a few providers in Victoria able to offer DNA fragmentation testing.
Our semen analysis service is not only available to Newlife IVF patients, but also to patients referred from their GP who are not directly involved with our other fertility services. A referral from your GP (or specialist) is required to access Medicare benefits for semen analysis and testing. We accept referrals on any provider’s form. For convenience, we recommend your doctor use this form.
You have the option of producing your sample in our discreet on-site facility at our Box Hill fertility treatment centre or at home:
Semen analysis is best performed when the semen sample is produced on-site, so it can be immediately assessed by our scientists. For maximum convenience, semen analysis is performed by appointment only. To make an appointment, call Newlife IVF on (03) 8080 8933. When you arrive for your appointment, you will be discreetly escorted to our private on-site facility. You will be given detailed instructions, then left alone to produce your sample. In the meantime, you may like to review the sample production instructions provided below.
If you choose to produce your sample at home, you must be able to deliver it to the Newlife IVF Andrology Laboratory in Box Hill within half an hour for semen analysis and testing. To arrange a drop-off time, please call Newlife IVF on (03) 8080 8933. You will also need to collect a 70mL sterile specimen jar from your referring doctor or a pharmacy into which you will need to place your sample. To produce your sperm sample, please follow the instructions provided below.
Fees are payable on the day of sample production. Bulk billing is not available.
|Estimated out-of-pocket costs (once Medicare rebate applied)*
|Semen analysis and DNA fragmentation
|Semen analysis and ASA
|Semen analysis with DNA fragmentation and ASA
|Semen analysis and sperm freezing
|Sperm DNA fragmentation test only
|Sperm freezing only (includes 6 months’ storage)
|*Fees correct as of 1 January 2024 and represent the total out-of-pocket cost to patients.
In the event that there is persistently no sperm present in a series of semen samples, a diagnostic testicular biopsy can be used to assess if sperm can be found within the testicle or surrounding structures. This allows for planning of future treatment. If sperm is found, it can be frozen, or reliably extracted at a later date to fertilise eggs by ICSI treatment.
Read more information on testicular sperm retrieval for use with assisted conception techniques.
A semen analysis is the primary assessment of male fertility and identifies problems with sperm production or function. Specifically, a semen analysis will report on the following:
We can also assess the DNA quality of sperm (sperm DNA fragmentation) and test for possible immune markers, known as antibodies, that can affect sperm function.
If indicated, your fertility specialist may also use blood tests or ultrasound imaging to look for genetic, hormonal or structural conditions that are known to impact male fertility.
We recommend male fertility testing if you have been unsuccessfully trying for a baby for 12 months and a female partner is under 35 years. If a female partner is over the age of 35 years, we recommend having your fertility assessed after six months of trying. Fertility testing can also be performed immediately if there is any significant past medical history such as undescended testes or hernia operations.
Several factors influence sperm quality and quantity, including carrying too little or too much weight, poor diet, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, illicit substance use, stress, poor sleep quality and exposure to harmful chemicals (such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals).
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