A semen analysis measures the amount of semen a man produces and determines the number and quality of sperm 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 ( infertility ). A problem with the semen or sperm affects more than one-third of the couples that 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 15 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 milliliter (mL) of semen in one ejaculation.
- Sperm morphology. This is a measure of the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape. AFS uses the Kruger Strict Criteria Method.
- 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).
- White blood cell count. White blood cells are not normally present in semen.