You should consider sperm analysis if:
You are trying to conceive.
If you and your partner have been having unprotected sex for 6–12 months and haven’t yet gotten pregnant, semen analysis is a first-line test to help diagnosis or rule out male fertility issues. Doing sperm testing early on in the process of trying to conceive can help you avoid costly and unnecessary tests or treatments down the line.
You hope to proactively improve fertility.
Even if you’re not trying to conceive right now, you may want to proactively assess — and address — sperm health issues. Because sperm take about 72 days to produce, it will take at least 2–3 months for any lifestyle changes you make to have a measurable impact on your sperm health. Sperm testing in advance can help ensure that, by the time you’re ready to start a family, your sperm is in its best possible shape.
You plan to freeze your sperm.
If you’re freezing your sperm for the future — whether because you’re about to undergo cancer treatment or because you simply want to preserve your sperm at its youngest, healthiest state — sperm testing is crucial. You’ll want to ensure your sperm is healthy and fertile before freezing.
Learn more about sperm freezing
You need semen testing after a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal.
If you have a vasectomy for long-term birth control, it’s recommended that you get a semen analysis around 12 weeks after the procedure, to confirm the vasectomy has worked as intended. Similarly, if you have surgery to reverse a previous vasectomy, sperm testing every month for 12 months is recommended to ensure sperm quality, count, and motility is recovering normally.