Semen analysis, or sperm count testing, is part of a couple’s fertility work-up procedure. Semen analysis is easier and safer as compared to female fertility tests. These sperm tests are usually done to measure the amount and the quality of sperm that is present in a male’s ejaculate. Semen analysis usually takes note of these characteristics: sperm count, motility, morphology, volume, fructose level and PH.
Sperm count testing measures the concentration of sperm present in a man’s semen. For a normal reading of sperm in one ejaculate, there should be at least 20 to 40 million sperm per mililiter present. Anything less than 20 million sperm, is considered as oligozoospermia, which is a condition of low sperm count.
Motility is described as the ability of the sperm to move. The patient can have a normal sperm count, but still be unable to fertilize because of his sperm’s poor motility. However, if a patient’s sperm count is relatively high, there is a great chance that it might not play a factor. There are four motility grades where the sperm are classified accordingly:
• Grade 4: Progressive Motility – strongest and fastest swimmers capable of travelling in a straight line
• Grade 3: Non-Linear Motility- sperm moves forward but tends to travel in a curve or crooked motion
• Grade 2: Non-Progressive Motility- sperm does not move forward despite rapid movement of their tails
• Grade 1: Immotile- sperm fail to move at all
If ever there are abnormalities in the results, the following step includes finding the source of the abnormality and, if possible, correcting the problem. There are also fertility treatments that can be recommended if ever the problem cannot be readily corrected.