The sperm analysis test is a necessary examination in the investigation of a couple’s infertility and the result determines the appropriate treatment course for the couple.
Sample volume and sperm concentration per ml of sample
Normally, the volume of semen per ejaculation is 2,5-5 ml, and the number of sperm per ml must be higher than 20 million.
Sperm motility and morphology
The characteristics of a normal sperm analysis test are the following:
Consequently, the sperm analysis test is characterised as follows:
- Azoospermic, when sperm is completely absent from the semen sample
- Oligospermic, when the concentration of sperm in the sample is lower than normal levels (<20×10^6/ml)
- Asthenospermic, when the levels of sperm motility in the sample are less than normal (<50%).
- Teratospermic, when the normal forms of sperm in the sample are less than normal.
In the case of Non-Obstructive Oligospermia – Azoospermia (NOOA), following an examination by a clinician, the following laboratory testing is recommended:
- Peripheral blood karyotype (abnormality rate in NOOA 5%-6%)
- Tracing of microdeletions of the azoospermic agent AZF of the Y-MDY chromosome (abnormality rate in NOOA 10%-15%)
- Tracing of cystic fibrosis carrier mutations (abnormality rate 43% in congenital atresia of the vas deferens)
Causes of a pathologic sperm analysis test:
- Viral infections (e.g. Mumps)
- Genetic disorders/ abnormalities
- Exposure to radiation, chemotherapy
- Hormonal imbalances
In these cases, the physician evaluates the results and may request a repeated sperm analysis test immediately or after a period of time, and additional testing may be required, e.g. hormone testing, or the couple may be directed to testicular tissue biopsy, etc.