All you should know about Semen Analysis

Infertility is an issue that can deeply affect an individual and their relationships.

Males are responsible for 20 to 30 percent of cases of infertility and "contribute to 50 percent of cases overall. Men may require a semen analysis for different reasons. Some individuals or couples will request a sperm analysis if they are having difficulty in conceiving.

A semen analysis is a basic, informative test that helps us to tell you how many sperms you have, how many of them are moving and how many of them are normal in appearance. It is done as a routine first test for all males who present with a delay in conceiving.


When to have the test?

A semen analysis should only be done after 2-3 days of abstinence from intercourse. A longer or shorter period of abstinence will cause misinterpretation of results.


Procedure for the test



  • A clean, sterile, non-toxic container will be provided.
  • The plastic cover on the container must be removed and your name must be written on the label pasted on the container.
  • Your hands must be washed only with plain water.
  • The sample must be produced by masturbation.
  • The sample must not be collected during intercourse as the first part of the semen which contains maximum numbers of sperms will be lost.
  • Condoms must not be used during collection. They contain a substance that will kill the sperms.
  • At IVF Centers in Delhi, we provide a room within the hospital to provide a sample. It is best that you collect the sample at our center.
  • If the sample is brought from home, it must be delivered to our center within 30 minutes.
  • While transporting the sample, it must be kept warm – preferably in the trouser pocket.


How is semen tested?



At IVF center, we first measure the quantity or volume of semen. The normal volume must be between 1.5ml – 6ml. Reduced volume may indicate fewer sperms which may reduce fertility. Too much semen may once again dilute the sperms.

Firstly we check to see if the semen becomes liquefied. Normally semen becomes a thick gel soon after ejaculation and then becomes a thinner fluid in 30 min. Very thick semen which does not become thin may interfere with sperm movement.

PH testing is tested next. Semen must have a pH of between 7.2 – 7.8. A higher pH may indicate infection while a lower pH may indicate that certain important gland secretions are absent

Fructose is a sugar that is normally present in semen. The absence of fructose may indicate that certain glandular secretions are absent.

We then check a drop of semen under a microscope after mixing the sample well. We assess:


Numbers (sperm concentration) – This is measured in millions per milliliter. Normally there should be at least 15 million sperms/ ml or a total of 39 million sperms in a complete sample. Lower numbers of sperms can reduce fertility

Movement (sperm motility) – This is the number of moving sperms in a sample. At least 32% of sperms must move forward in a straight line at a good speed. Sperm movement is graded from 0-4 with 0 being non-motile to 4 being a rapid progressive movement. At least 40% of sperms must be motile.

Appearance (Morphology) – The appearance of the head, midpiece, and tail are studied. Abnormal sperms may have defects in the head, tails, etc. At least 4% of sperms must be normal. Greater number of abnormal sperms will reduce fertility

Vitality (live or dead) - This is tested by staining the sperms with a special dye. At least 58% of sperms must be alive.

White blood cells – a count of above 1 million white blood cells per ml may indicate the presence of infection.


Certain terms used in your report

  • Aspermia – an absence of semen
  • Azoospermia – an absence of sperms
  • Oligozoospermia- Low sperm count
  • Asthenozoospermia- Low sperm motility
  • Teratozoospermia- greater number sperms with abnormal appearance


What else you need to know?
People who receive abnormal results from a semen analysis typically undergo further testing to help identify the exact issue. In many cases, a person's fertility issues resolve with the right treatment. We can tell you whether your semen analysis is satisfactory based on the test report. However, this test does not give us information about sperm function. The absence of sperm needs to be confirmed by repeat testing. Abnormally low numbers/ motility/ morphology will also need repeating.


For more information, you can call us on +91 -8800464829 or submit your details on our website


DISCLAIMER: Women Hopes Care is a heath care facilitator and marketing organization. It does not provide any genetic counseling, genetic clinic or genetic lab services. Association with medical clinic(s) is on independent contractual basis. Sex selection is prohibited in India and a punishable act. Women Hopes Care does not support and condemns sex selection in all forms. The advert content and pictorials are generic in nature. No assurances or guarantees of any nature are extended. 

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