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Semen Analysis

Semen Analysis

Semen analysis is the microscopic examination of the shape, number, and movement of sperm. It is done on the freshly ejaculated semen in a laboratory. Male infertility can be diagnosed using this analysis.
A minimum of two semen examinations are done. This is done to check fertility in a proper manner. The male semen’s quality may alter between samples. In spite of the male being fertile, at times, poor health, fevers, and infections may reduce the male’s sperm quality for some months.

When is semen analysis performed?

When a medical evaluation is done on a couple for testing infertility, a semen analysis is included in the testing of the male partner. Also, this analysis can be used to confirm a successful vasectomy.

What parameters are checked in this analysis?

A semen analysis checks all these parameters:

  • Total sperm number
  • Sperm motility (the number of motile sperm in comparison to the non-motile sperm)
  • Sperm concentration (also called sperm count, indicating the number of sperm per milliliter of semen)
  • Sperm vitality (count of sperm that are ‘alive’)
  • Sperm antibodies (a protein that fights sperm)
  • Semen volume (the amount of semen a male ejaculates)
  • Semen pH (to check if the man’s semen is acidic or alkaline; the value must be slightly alkaline)
  • White blood cells (which may be a sign of infection)
  • The number of ideally shaped sperm (normal sperm) in comparison to the oddly shaped sperm (abnormal sperm).

How the collection of semen done for testing?

  • Semen testing must be carried out on a fresh semen sample ejaculated within 60 minutes of examination.
  • The best method for semen collection is collecting it in a specimen jar and produced by masturbation.
  • A male can do this in a private room at the testing laboratory.
  • If the collection is done at home, the sample has to be kept warm and should quickly be rushed to a laboratory (within 60 minutes).
  • The patient has to ensure that any of the semen samples does not get lost.
  • As the initial part of the ejaculate comprises the sperm, if the first part is lost, then the whole sperm concentration gets lowered down falsely.
  • It should be noted that the male does not ejaculate for at least two days before the sample collection.

How is the sperm analyzed?

The storage of the semen is done at room temperature for obtaining the most precise results. If the samples are taken when the patient is anxious or sick may perhaps pose certain adverse effects on the test outcomes. After the semen collection, the analysis on the sperm is done and the professional technicians do various tests to derive results.
WHO Standards (2021) for Semen Analysis:

  • Volume: 1.5 ml
  • Concentration: 15 million/ml
  • Progressive motility: 32%
  • Normal forms: 4%

At ART Fertility Clinics, we strictly use the standards outlined by the WHO to analyze the sperm.


What do the results of a semen analysis indicate?

Fertility is not guaranteed by semen analysis as there can be other causes for infertility. The couple may still be capable of attaining conception naturally despite a very low sperm concentration. Several factors can have an impact on the couple’s possibility of pregnancy, such as the couple’s frequency and timing of sex, duration of times they have tried to conceive, and the fertility and age of the female partner.

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