header image Professor Hakim Dilshad Hussain Tabssum (Gold Medalist) Ex-member: American Infertility Association (USA)
 
 

Normal semen reports

Normal-semen

 What is normal Semen reports in WHO ?

Semen analysis is an important fertility test for infertile couples, and the test should be done before any treatments (even “just clomid”) are prescribed. Many men experience anxiety over the test — and later, over the results. Your doctor will explain your results to you, and because different labs and doctors may use different normal value ranges, what your doctor considers normal or abnormal may differ from what you find in this article and elsewhere on the internet.With that said, here are the semen health factors typically evaluated in a semen analysis, their normal values according to the World Health Organization’s 2010 guidelines, 

Semen Ejaculate Volume

What Is It: Semen is made up of more than just sperm. In fact, less than 5% of semen is made up of sperm. Healthy semen includes fluid from the testes (which is where the sperm come from), from the seminal vesicles (which includes important nutrients for the sperm), from the prostate gland (which includes zinc-rich fluid to maintain DNA stability of the sperm), and from the bulbourethral glands (which contains a mucus to help the semen swim).What Is Considered Normal: Normal semen ejaculate is between 1.5 milliliters to 6 milliliters of fluid. This is about one-third of a teaspoon to a little over a teaspoon.

Total Sperm Number

What Is It: This is the total number of sperm found in provided semen sample.What Is Considered Normal: About 39,000,000 (or 39 x 10^6) sperm per ejaculate is considered the lower acceptable limit. Having a lower than normal count of sperm is sometimes called oligospermia. If no sperm cells are found, this is called azoospermia. What Might Be Wrong if Results Are Abnormal: Having a lower sperm count may indicate a number of problems, including varicocele, infection, chronic or undiagnosed health problems like diabetes. 

Sperm Concentration

What Is It: Sperm concentration is the number of sperm found in one milliliter of semen.What Is Considered Normal: There should be at least 15,000,000 (or 15 x 10^6) sperm per millimeter.What Might Be Wrong if Results Are Abnormal: Low sperm concentration may be part of an overall low sperm count, or it could be related to an abnormally high ejaculate volume. .

Motility

What Is It: Motility is the percentage of sperm who move. For fertilization to occur, sperm must swim up the female reproductive tract to meet the egg. Being able to swim to their destination is essential. Total motility refers to any movement, while progressive motility refers to forward movement in either a line or in a large circle.What Is Considered Normal: At least 40% of the sperm should be moving, and at least 32% should swim in a forward movement or in large circles.This is expressed as percent of live sperm. Different labs express this differently, but essentially, about 60% of the sperm should be swimming.

Viability or Vitality

What Is It: Sperm viability refers to the percentage of live sperm in the semen sample. This is especially important to measure if sperm motility is low, so differentiate between live non-motile sperm and dead sperm.What Is Considered Normal: At least 58% of the sperm cells should be viable.What Might Be Wrong if Results Are Abnormal: Necrozoospermia is the term used when all sperm in the semen sample are dead. There are a variety of causes for necrozoospermia, including many of the same things that can cause low sperm count.information.

Morphology

What Is It: Sperm morphology refers to the shape of the sperm cells. The lab technician closely examines a sample of sperm, checking to see approximately what percentage have a normal shape. The head, mid-section and tail are evaluated, as well as the measurements and proportions between each.Before 2010, the World Health Organization had different requirements for sperm to be considered “normal” in shape. Labs may have evaluated sperm morphology according to the WHO criteria, or what is known as Kruger’s Strict criteria. However, the 2010 WHO guidelines encourage the use of Kruger’s Strict criteria, based on the research of Dr. T.F. Kruger and Dr. R. Menkeveld. Speak to your doctor to find out if they are using the outdated WHO criteria or Kruger’s criteria.What Is Considered Normal: At least 4% should have a normal shape.

Liquefaction

What Is It: When semen is ejaculated, it is thick and gelatinous. This is to help it adhere to the cervix. The semen eventually liquefies to enable the sperm to swim better.
What Is Considered Normal: Semen should liquefy within 20 to 30 minutes of ejaculation.What Might Be Wrong if Results Are Abnormal: Delayed liquefaction may indicate a problem with the prostate, the seminal vesicles, or the bulbourethral glands, 

Semen pH

What Is It: Semen pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline the semen is. The seminal vesicle fluid should be more alkaline, while the prostate fluids should be more acidic. In combination, they balance each other out in the semen. Semen that is too acidic may kill the sperm or prevent fertilization.What Is Considered Normal: The semen should have a pH greater than 7.2. Currently, there’s no consensus on how more alkaline semen may affect fertility, and so there’s no upper pH limit according to the WHO guidelines.What Might Be Wrong if Results Are Abnormal: Usually, low pH is accompanied by other abnormal measurements, including low volume of semen or low sperm counts. 

If Your Results Are Abnormal

One abnormal semen analysis result is not necessarily a sign of impaired male fertility. Because so many factors can lead to a poor result, including recent illness or even stress over the test, your doctor will likely repeat the semen analysis in a few weeks. Speak to your doctor about what to expect next, and be sure to disclose any possible causes for poor results (including recent illness, a love of hot tubs or heated car seats, trouble producing a sample for the analysis, and all the medications you’re currently taking.)