What Are Semen Analysis Parameters?

Semen analysis is used to determine whether there are any issues that might be reducing the chances of pregnancy for couples who are having trouble conceiving. While a semen analysis isn’t really a fertility test, since there are many factors that go into that issue, it can provide insight into sperm count and motility. If there are abnormalities with the amount of quality of the sperm those may show up during an analysis, and that could provide insight into whether conception may be more difficult.

The test measures a number of different parameters, but we focus on a few:

  • Count: The total amount of sperm produced in a sample
  • Volume: The number of milliliters of semen produced per sample.
  • Motility: The percentage of the sperm that can swim forward
  • Morphology: The percentage of sperm that have the proper shape

The parameters for semen analysis were updated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2021. In the sixth edition of the WHO Manual for the Laboratory Examination and Processing of Human Semen the criteria for a semen analysis were updated as follows:

  1. Sperm count should be at least 15 million per cc
  2. Semen volume, should be equal or more than 1.4 milliliters
  3. Motility should be equal or more than 42%
  4. Morphology should be equal or more than 4 %

The clinical reference ranges for what is considered fertile or sub-fertile (based on sperm quality, count, etc.) have been lowered, providing more men with a “normal” range in their sperm analysis. That may indicate that men who were previously concerned about being able to conceive would be more likely to produce children, but fertility is about much more than just sperm.

Stress levels, poor health, lack of sleep, and of course the fertility of their partner all play a role for men who want to father children. However, a semen analysis and its notable parameters can help men get the information they need to make wise decisions about their health, as well as their potential fertility.

If you have any questions about the parameters regarding semen analysis or seek additional guidance for your specific health concerns, our team at the Fertility Institute of San Diego, can give you the support you need! We are a boutique San Diego fertility center that firmly believes that total wellness is an essential component during your fertility journey and pregnancy. Dr. Hosseinzadeh and our dedicated team of fertility specialists are here to help you throughout any part of your journey. Contact us today to get started!

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