If you and your partner are having fertility issues, your health care provider may recommend you have a lab test of your semen called a lab semen analysis. A semen analysis compares your sample to established reference ranges.
It looks for sperm count, motility, and structure and shape, which are important factors in healthy conception.
The color of sperm is one factor that can be indicative of fertility. In general, healthy sperm should be clear or whitish in color. However, this can vary depending on diet and lifestyle choices. For example, a physically active guy who is well-fed and has a good sleep routine is likely to have better quality semen. On the other hand, a guy who is taking medication and has poor hygiene may have more yellow sperm.
The texture and consistency of semen is also an important indicator of fertility. Typically, semen is thick immediately after it’s been ejaculated and should gradually thin out over time. Semen that stays thick for a long time or is extremely sticky suggests that there could be medical issues. If the semen is accompanied by blood in the urine, pain, or sexual dysfunction, it’s best to see a doctor right away.
The best way to determine if your sperm are healthy is through a laboratory test known as a semen analysis. This will check for many factors including: sperm motility (the number of sperm that are able to move forward and fertilize an egg), semen volume, pH balance (how acidic the semen is), white blood cell count and the speed at which the sample liquefies. It’s important to avoid using lubricants during sex since these can interfere with the semen test results.
When it comes to conceiving a baby, one sperm and one egg are required. But, it takes more than just that to make a pregnancy happen. The sperm’s quality and quantity also play a role in how quickly or easily you and your partner will conceive.
In optimal conditions, a single ejaculation of semen should release about 100 million sperm cells. This is the number that will actually survive their brutal journey through a woman’s reproductive tract, where they’ll compete for an egg to fertilize.
The health of these sperm cells can be assessed using a test called a semen analysis, which provides a wide range of data on the condition of a man’s sperm. It looks at the volume of semen (viscosity), how much sperm are in a sample (sperm count) and how close together they are (sperm concentration).
Other tests include the shape of the sperm (morphology) and its ability to swim forward. The test can even look for signs of an infection, such as the presence of white blood cells, which could prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg.
A healthy semen sample is white or light grey in colour and free from any clumping. It should be collected without the use of lubricants during intercourse and kept at body temperature until a test can be performed.
A man’s testicles produce testosterone, a sex hormone that promotes sexual development and reproduction. They also contain a set of tubes called the seminiferous tubules that create and release sperm during sexual intercourse and ejaculation (Dcunha, 2022).
During ejaculation, millions of sperm are released into the female reproductive tract. But many of those sperm are dead before reaching and penetrating an egg. Those that do survive use a chemical message to pass through an egg’s three layers of defence. They then use a spike on the head of the sperm to puncture a hole in the egg membrane. The sperm’s tail then thrashers the egg until it fuses with it and fertilizes it (Elia, 2010).
The quality of sperm depends on its volume (sperm count), its ability to move quickly (“motility”), and its shape (sperm morphology) (Baker, 2023). But the color of sperm is the most important factor, as healthy sperm are light grey to white, which helps them blend in with the cloudy, off-white material that makes up an average woman’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
A routine test, called a semen analysis, can help determine the health of sperm. During this test, a man ejaculates into a special container, which the doctor checks for several measures of sperm health. The doctor will check how much ejaculate there is, its acidity, and the number of sperm that are alive. He will also look at the shape of each sperm, including whether it has an abnormally thicker “head” or tail.
Semen color and texture can tell you a lot about your fertility and health. Normally, healthy semen is white to light grey in color. If it has a yellowish or greenish tint, it may be a sign of infection or a prostate condition known as hematospermia. If you have a problem with your sperm, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Your sperm count and the quality of your sperm can make or break your chances of having a healthy pregnancy. A healthy sperm count means that there are at least 15 million sperm for every milliliter of your semen. It also means that your sperm move well and can swim to the female reproductive system where they will be fertilised. The shape of your sperm, which is called morphology, is also important. Healthier sperm have rounded heads and long tails to help them move better.
While you can take steps to ensure your sperm health, the best way to know for sure how your sperm are doing is to have a semen analysis, or a sperm test. A test will give you a clearer picture of what your sperm are looking like under the microscope and whether they’re up for the challenge of making a baby. A diet rich in folates, Vitamin C and fatty fish can improve sperm count, shape and motility.