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Semen analysis

Planning a pregnancy is an important issue that requires serious approach from the future parents. Both parents should undergo a complete physical examination, which increases the chance of fast pregnancy, as well as a good opportunity to identify any existing pathology. For a man, the examination includes the diagnostics that is called semen analysis (seminogram).


  1. What is semen analysis?
  2. Who undergoes semen analysis
  3. Methods of obtaining sperm for testing
  4. Getting a good sample for the semen analysis
  5. Semen indicators

1What is semen analysis?

Seminogram is the analysis of male ejaculation fluid containing sperm. The aim is to identify male fertility, his fertilizing ability. This analysis is also necessary to determine the condition of the reproductive system of a man. Semen analysis is also done before cryopreservation of the ejaculate of the sperm donors.

2Who undergoes semen analysis

Doctors recommend undergoing the analysis in the following cases:

  • when a couple is having problems getting pregnant for a year, to identify the possible infertility of a men
  • during the preparation for IVF;
  • when a man wants to check if he is able to conceive a child;
  • as a diagnostic during such diseases as varicocele or prostatitis.

The standard semen analysis measures microscopic semen parameters, which include the degree of sperm motility, their number, duration and speed of movement, as well as the contents of other cells; physical parameters determine the color, volume, pH, and sperm viscosity. The results of the data indicate the presence of possible infections and male infertility.

3Methods of obtaining sperm for testing

It is believed that masturbation is the ideal way to get sperm for the analysis. The World Health Organization has recognized this way as the best. It is recommended to gather sperm directly in the clinic, as this will allow experts to begin the analysis of the donated sperm.

For convenience, the men are provided with a beautifully decorated room, not like a hospital ward. In order to get excited, a man is allowed to watch the video of the corresponding contents or special journals. There are cases when it is allowed to use drugs contributing to an increase in erection.

However, gathering sperm for the analysis at home may be allowed with the consent of a doctor. It is required that the patient delivers the sample to the laboratory within one hour after the ejaculation. Otherwise, the result will not be precise. Semen should be collected into a special container.

semen container

Ejaculation into the condom is not allowed because the lubricant applied on the contraceptive directly influences the result of the analysis. It is prohibited to collect semen after an interrupted sexual intercourse, as it will have traces of the female vaginal microflora.

4Getting a good sample for the semen analysis

In preparation for the semen analysis doctors recommended to avoid sexual intercourse and masturbation for 3-5 days, because a period of abstinence directly affects the result.

If the patient had a shorter period of sexual abstinence, the volume and number of sperm may be too low. Moreover, it can lead to the decreased motility of sperm and an increase in the number of abnormal sperm. However, this dependence is not always clearly observed.

During the indicated period it is required to limit eating smoked and spicy food, drinking alcohol, avoid overheating, in particular, a man should avoid visiting saunas or taking hot baths.

5Semen indicators

The normal semen analysis parameters are the following:

  • the volume of ejaculate is 2 ml or grater;
  • sperm concentration is not less than 20 million per ml;
  • normal pH level is 7- 8;
  • the total sperm count is 40 million or more;
  • the viability of male gametes should be of at least half of the total;
  • sperm motility should be 50% or more, not less than 25% of which should move forward quickly (it is identified within an hour after the ejaculation);
  • morphology should show more than 14% of the male germ cells to be normally shaped;
  • antisperm antibodies should make up less than half of the total number of sperm that are identified by methods of ImunnoBeat or the MAR, possibly associated with ACAT;
  • leukocyte concentration should be 1 mln per ml or more.

If semen parameters are within normal, it is usually enough to undergo a single analysis.