Semen analysis

Semen analysis is a straightforward and non-invasive test, which gives detailed information on sperm quantity and quality and therefore, your fertility potential.

The sample can be produced in the comfort of your own home and brought to the clinic, or produced in a private room at the clinic. For more detailed information visit “The Test“.

Semen results that fall within the World Health Organisation (WHO) reference ranges are deemed normal. The following elements will be assessed:

Volume

A normal volume of semen ranges between 1.5mls and 6.5mls. An ‘incomplete sample’ may merely suggest that the total volume of the ejaculate was not collected. It is important that the full volume is collected, particularly the initial ejaculate as this contains the highest volume of sperm cells.

pH

The normal pH balance is pH 7.2. A higher level may indicate an obstruction in, or the absence of, the sperm ducts.

Sperm Concentration in Semen Sample

A normal semen sample should contain at least 15M/ml (millions per millimetre) of sperm. When the sperm concentration falls below this level, ‘oligozoospermia’ is diagnosed. When there is no sperm in the sample, ‘azoospermia’ is diagnosed.

Sperm Motility

The most forward-moving, ‘motile’ sperm (often referred to as the ‘good swimmers’) have the ability to pass through the cervical canal, into the uterine cavity and into the Fallopian tube, where the egg awaits fertilisation. In a normal semen sample, at least 40% of the sperm should be motile. Reduced sperm motility is called asthenozoospermia.

Sperm Morphology

This is a measurement of the proportion of ‘normal-looking’ sperm in the sample. A normal semen sample should be composed of at least 4% normal looking sperm. When the proportion is lower than this, teratozoospermia is diagnosed.

Other Cells

Cells, other than semen, may be found in the semen sample and can sometimes be a cause for concern. Most frequently, these are cells of the immune system such as white blood cells. Excessive numbers of these cells may indicate the presence of infection.

Anti-sperm Antibodies

Two types of antibodies, IgA and IgG, are present on sperm cells and are measured during routine semen analysis. The significance of anti-sperm antibodies and their impact on the ability to conceive naturally or with fertility assistance is undergoing further research.

male seaman analysis