Semen analysis is a sperm count test that checks the health of a man’s sperm. Semen is the fluid that contains sperm; a semen analysis checks three main factors of sperm health:
- The amount of sperm
- The shape of the sperm
- The mobility of the sperm which is the sperm movement
What Is Actually Evaluated In This test?
Generally semen should be tested after an abstinence period of minimum 2 days to maximum 7 days. The expert who performs this test is called an Andrologist. It is highly recommended that he/she follows the WHO criteria for semen analysis. The andrologist will examine your semen to assess the following parameters:
• Volume of semen:
Normal semen volume of a single ejaculate should be at least 1.5 ml.
• Sperm Count:
Sperm count means the number of sperms present in your semen. 1 ml of semen should contain at least 15 million sperms. A concentration less than that is called Oligozoospermia.
A normal semen sample appears opalescent grey. Any deviation from this to red or yellow may indicate presence of blood, infection etc.
Normal pH for semen is around 7.2. A higher or lower pH indicates infection or contamination respectively.
This refers to the form, shape and size of the sperm. A normal sperm has got an oval shaped head, a neck or middle piece and a single tail. To produce a good embryo all these parts must bear a perfect shape. In a normal semen sample at least 4% of sperms must bear normal morphology. If the value is less than that then the condition is called Teratozoospermia.
Motility indicates what proportion of sperms in your semen can move. A man with normal reproductive potential should have at least 40% motile sperms. A value less than that is called Asthenozoospermia. This is a very important parameter as only motile sperms could complete the journey to fertilize an ovum.