A Reference semen Opens New Window analysis measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of Reference sperm Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window in the semen sample.
A semen analysis is usually one of the first tests done to help determine whether a man has a problem fathering a child (Reference infertility Opens New Window). A problem with the semen or sperm affects more than one-third of the couples who are unable to have children (infertile).
Tests that may be done during a semen analysis include:
- Volume. This is a measure of how much semen is present in one ejaculation.
- Liquefaction time. Semen is a thick gel at the time of ejaculation and normally becomes liquid within 20 minutes after ejaculation. Liquefaction time is a measure of the time it takes for the semen to liquefy.
- Sperm count. This is a count of the number of sperm present per Reference milliliter (mL) Opens New Window of semen in one ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape.
- Sperm motility. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that can move forward normally. The number of sperm that show normal forward movement in a certain amount of semen can also be measured (motile density).
- pH. This is a measure of the acidity (low Reference pH Opens New Window) or alkalinity (high pH) of the semen.
- White blood cell count. White blood cells are not normally present in semen.
- Fructose level. This is a measure of the amount of a sugar called fructose in the semen. The fructose provides energy for the sperm.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 1, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology