A routine semen analysis (SA) is a simple procedure involving our scientists looking at the sperm within a ejaculated semen sample. As this is a simple investigation SA are performed as first line investigations into a couples infertility. There are four main parts to the analysis:
This refers to the number of sperm within the sample per ml. The number of sperm will inform us if there is a likely male factor contributing to infertility.
Looks at the movement of the sperm. This is categorised into four levels; A - forward progressive, B - progressive, C - twitching and D - non-motile. Normal samples are categorised as having a combined value of 50% or more grade 'A' and 'B' motile sperm.
This refers to the appearance of individual sperm. Most sperm in the ejaculate will be abnormal in appearance. A normal sample is defined as having greater than 5% normal forms.
Anti-sperm Antibodies (ASAB)
Occasionally the blood-testis barrier may be breached due to trauma or testicular torsion. If this happens the body recognises sperm as a foreign body and will start to produce antibodies to fight against them. If a sample tests positive for ASAB it can have detrimental effects over sperm function.