Sperm Concentration (Count)

Seminal Fluid. Semen volume, viscosity (“fluidity”), pH (“acidity”), liquefaction (presence of masses or strands), and appearance are determined after at least 20 min of incubation at 37°C.   Analysis is completed by 60 min after ejaculation.

        Reference Ranges:  Volume:  ≥ 1.5 mL*         
        Appearance:  Opalescent White or Gray              pH:  7.8 - 8.6
        Viscosity:  3 or 4 (not highly viscous)    Liquefaction:  Complete (no masses or strands)                        

Sperm Concentration (“Sperm Count”). The number, in millions, of spermatozoa per milliliter of semen. Sperm are immobilized, diluted and counted in a quality-verified chamber such as a hemacytometer, Makler chamber, or fixed-coverslip slide. We use  phase-contrast hemocytometers, which allow sufficient magnification and optical resolution to easily identify spermatozoa, nucleated “round” cells and debris.

        Reference Range:  ≥ 15 million sperm per ml*

Total Sperm per Ejaculate (Total Sperm Count) is the number of millions of sperm in the entire ejaculate, calculated by multiplying Sperm Concentration by ejaculate Volume. This is more important than Sperm Concentration, since most of the ejaculate is composed of secretions of the seminal vesicle and prostate glands. The volume of these secretions varies considerably with stimulation, abstinence and other factors, thereby changing the sperm concentration.

        Reference Range:  ≥ 39 million sperm*

Total Motile Sperm per Ejaculate is the number of millions of sperm moving in the entire ejaculate, calculated by multiplying Total Sperm by % motility (as a decimal). This number is one of the most predictive of eventual pregnancy, according to several studies.

        Reference Range:  ≥ 15.5 million motile sperm

Total Progressively Motile Sperm per Ejaculate is the total number of millions of sperm swimming progressively (see Sperm MOTILITY) in the ejaculate. This may be the most important single number in the Semen Analysis evaluation.

        Reference Range: ≥ 12.5 million progressively motile sperm


*Reference: World Health Organization 2010  WHO Laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen. WHO Press (5th ed.).  All other Reference Ranges are MFL Ranges.

     

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