What is Semen Analysis

Semen analysis

A sperm analysis is often recommended when couples are having problems getting pregnant. The test will help a doctor determine if a man is infertile.

Semen analysis is a diagnostic procedure that analyzes how sperm quality or rather how healthy the semen sample is. Semen is the fluid containing sperm that is released during male ejaculation.  A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health:

  • Sperm Count: number of sperm per ml of semen sample ( 20 million sperm per mL plus is a healthy sperm count. Less than that is considered low sperm count.)
  • Morphology: size and shape of the sperm
  •  mobility of sperm: whip of the tail, movement of the sperm 

  • Why Undergo Semen Analysis?

    Semen analysis forms the basis of important decisions concerning appropriate treatment. The analysis will also help determine if low sperm count or sperm dysfunction is the reason behind infertility. In case of an abnormal finding, it also helps to distinguish between the types of male infertility:

    • oligozoospermia (< 15 million spermatozoa/mL),

    • asthenozoospermia (< 40% motile spermatozoa),

    • teratozoospermia (< 4% normal forms).

    • oligo-astheno-teratozoospermiam (OAT) syndrome (carries a high risk of genetic abnormalities)

    Frequency of semen analyses

    In order to get a good idea of your sperm’s health, doctors will often conduct two to three sperm analyses and average their numbers to get the most accurate reading.

    If values are normal according to WHO criteria, one test should suffice. If the results are abnormal, semen analysis should be repeated.