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Male fertility depends on the proper function of a complex system of organs and hormones. The complete Viaguard sperm evaluation analysis uses state-of-the-art technology to look at all the parameters of sperm functionality as it relates to fertility.
Sperm are manufactured in several hundred microscopic seminiferous tubules, which make up most of the testicles. The life cycle of the sperm is about 74 days. As sperm mature they are stored in the upper part of the tubules, and young sperm cells are known as spermatids.
Once the sperm has completed the development of its head and tail, it will be released from the epididymis. During the sperm's three-week voyage from the epididymis, your sperm is maturing and developing so that by the time they reach the end of the epididymis; each sperm is mature and looks like a microscopic tadpole.
At maturity, each healthy sperm has a head which contains your genetic DNA material, and a tail that lashes back and forth at great speed, to propel the head forward.
The ability of the sperm to move forward rapidly and straight is the most significant determinant of male fertility
As the sperm pass from the epididymis and move into channels called vasa deferentia, clusters of tissue, and the nearby prostate gland, combine to produce a fluid referred to as semen.
About 100 million - 300 million sperm are delivered in an ejaculation, but only about 15% of these are sound enough to fertilize an egg. To further compound the problem, after the stress of ejaculation only about 400 sperm survive and of this number only about 40 survive the toxicity of semen and the hostile environment of the vagina, to reach the vicinity of the egg.
They are now faced with the almost impenetrable barrier of cervical mucus, which fortunately for all of us, thins to allow sperm penetration during ovulation. Ultimately, only one sperm gets through to fertilize the egg.
Sperm abnormalities are categorized by whether they affect sperm movement, sperm count, or sperm shape.
Viaguard's male sperm viability examination
Between 1.5 and 5.5 millilitres (mL) of fluid per ejaculation is normal. . Decreased volume of semen would indicate fewer sperm, which diminishes opportunities for successful fertilization and subsequent pregnancy. Excessive seminal fluid may dilute the concentration of sperm.
The semen should initially be thick and then liquefy within 15 to 30 minutes. If this does not occur, then it may impede sperm movement.
Sperm concentration (also called sperm count or sperm density) is measured in millions of sperm per millilitre of semen. Normal is at least 20 million or more sperm per mL, with a total ejaculate volume of 80 million or more. Fewer sperm and/or a lower sperm concentration may impair fertility. Following a vasectomy, the goal is to have no sperm detected in the semen sample.
Motility is the percentage of moving sperm in a sample and graded based on speed and direction travelled. At least 50% should be motile one hour after ejaculation, moving forward in a straight line with good speed. The progression of the sperm, best measured using an automated system, is rated on a basis from zero (no motion) to 4, with 3-4 representing good motility. If less than half of the sperm are motile, a stain is used to identify the percentage of dead sperm. This is called a sperm viability test.
Morphology analysis is the study of the size, shape, and appearance of the sperm cells. The analysis evaluates the structure of the sperm, whereby greater than 50% of those cells examined must be normal in size, shape, and length. The more abnormal sperm that are present, the lower the likelihood of fertility. Abnormal forms may include defective heads, midsections, tails, and immature forms. More than 14% should have normal heads. To see an image of a normal sperm, see the MedlinePlus Medical encyclopaedia.
Semen pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8. A pH of 8.0 or higher may indicate an infection, while a pH less than 7.0 suggests contamination with urine or an obstruction in the ejaculatory ducts. Agglutination of sperm occurs when sperm stick together in a specific and consistent manner (head to head, tail to tail, etc.) suggesting an immunologic cause to infertility. Clumping of sperm in a nonspecific manner may be due to bacterial infection or tissue contamination.
Avoid ejaculation for 48 - 72 hours, prior to taking the sample.
Minimize any smoking or drinking in the week prior to getting the sample.
Put and leave the supplied gel pack in the freezer until put in courier pack.
The kit you are being sent contains a specially designed and manufactured, non-spermicidal, biologically inert sampling condom. The ultrathin condom can be used to collect your semen sample either by masturbating and ejaculating directly into it, or the condom can be used during normal intercourse to collect your ejaculation. Either way you will have a viable sperm sample in the condom.
The package you receive includes an extra condom if needed.
From the small dropper bottle of sperm nutritive, add 1-2 drops to the semen in the condom.
This additive and the condom itself ensure extended viability, motility, and morphology so that your sample is viable for four days.
The condom is sealed with the enclosed tie, placed in the polybag with the label information filled out.
If the courier pack is not being sent out immediately, place the poly bag with the condom in the freezer until you are ready to ship.
When you are ready to ship, place the frozen gel pack in the courier pack in proximity to the poly bag with the condom.
Return everything in the prepaid, preaddressed overnight FedEx or other clinical pack. Although it is not essential you should try and have the pack dropped off so that it can be sent out overnight FedEx pack the same day as collection.
Do not ship on a Friday.
The report you receive will include the following parameters:
Samples must be returned by one of the following options:
A. We will supply you with a pre-addressed FedEx clinical courier pack for overnight delivery to us. Cost is $20. The kit can be dropped off at any facility that handles FedEx and will be delivered next day.
B. You can use any overnight courier you prefer, use the enclosed address sticker and ensure that documents specify "non-hazardous biological sample and specify no commercial value.