The spermiogram (spermiological examination) is the basic laboratory method for testing male fertility. It involves the microscope study of a semen sample (ejaculate). Basically, the spermiogram determines the volume of ejaculate, its pH (acidity) and viscosity, sperm count, sperm motility (mobility), and sperm form (morphology). The measured information is then compared to a set of reference data. Often, more detailed examinations might be necessary.
Basic information about this examination, about male infertility, and about possible treatments are best found on the website of an assisted reproduction center – see here. (centra asistované reprodukce)
For do-it-yourselfers and paranoid individuals who don’t trust laboratories, I suggest studying the latest “WHO Laboratory Manual for Examination and Processing of Human Semen”, 5th edition, 2010. (Be warned – the manual is 286 pages long.)
Doctors specializing in male reproductive health (called andrologists, which is something like a gynecologist for guys) often tell men that a spermiological examination on its own is not enough, because it might overlook an undiagnosed illness in the man. The man should be seen as more than just a “delivery vehicle”; semen is a bodily fluid just like blood or urine, and any changes in reference values may be an indication of the onset or existence of an illness. The guy himself needs to be examined: physical exam, hormone exam, ultrasound, etc.... Andrologists also point out that one single spermiological examination usually does not provide reliable results. A list of websites of Czech andrological centers and organizations can be found here.
The actual process of taking a semen sample is the subject of plenty of angst as well as quite a few jokes. What it actually entails and how to prepare for providing a sample can be seen here. And I am sure that our guys in Parliament (Parliament) can help out, too.
Just about everyone knows about home pregnancy tests. Fewer people have heard about home ovulation tests (i.e., tests that determine whether the woman is in her fertile period). And almost nobody knows that there exist home sperm tests. For more information, click here.
For those who don’t want to go to the doctor and who don’t want to do any home tests, there is this.