semen analysis measures how much semen a man
produces. It also shows the number and quality of
sperm in the semen sample.
This test is usually one of the first tests done to help find out if a man
has a problem fathering a child (infertility). A
problem with the semen or sperm affects more than one-third of couples who
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. It normally becomes liquid within 20 minutes after
ejaculation. Liquefaction time is the time it takes for the semen
to turn to liquid.
Sperm count. This counts 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.
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. This is called
pH. This is a measure of the acidity (low
pH) or alkalinity (high pH) of the semen.
White blood cell count. White blood cells are not
normally present in semen.
Fructose level. This is a measure of the amount of
a sugar called fructose in the semen. The fructose provides energy for the
Why It Is Done
A semen analysis is done to find out if:
A man has a reproductive problem that is
causing him to be infertile.