Semen Analysis

Definition - What does Semen Analysis mean?

A semen analysis refers to the laboratory testing of semen to assess fertility, either for the purpose of fathering a child or after a vasectomy to insure that the semen no longer contains sperm. This is the analysis will most commonly include a count of:

  • Sperm concentration (number)
  • Motility (the ability to move straight quickly)
  • Morphology (shape)

The fluid surrounding the sperm may be tested for:

  • Volume of semen
  • Seminal fructose concentration (can indicate a blockage or obstruction)
  • pH,
  • the presence of white blood cells (which would indicate infection) and the
  • Liquefaction - time required for the fluid to transform from a gel to a liquid.

A semen analysis is can detect male fertility problems and accurate diagnosis may improve fertility if it leads to effective treatment.

FertilitySmarts explains Semen Analysis

Either at home or a lab, a semen sample is obtained by masturbating into a specimen cup. It is generally suggested to refrain from ejaculation for a period of two to three days prior to the test in order to produce an ideal sample. Long periods of abstinence may produce a sample where sperm demonstrate lower motility (movement).


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