Semen Analysis

Semen analysis, also known as a sperm count test, analyses the health and viability of a man’s sperm. Semen is the fluid containing sperm (plus other sugar and protein substances) that’s released during male ejaculation.
A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health:

  • The number of sperm
  • The shape of the sperm
  • The movement of the sperm, also known as "sperm motility"

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. It normally becomes liquid within 20 minutes after ejaculation. Liquefaction time is the time it takes for the semen to turn to liquid
  • Sperm count - This counts the number of sperm present per milliliter (mL) 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. This is called motile density.
  • pH - This is a measure of the acidity (low pH) 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