A Semen Analysis has classically been used as a marker of a man’s fertility potential by providing information about the sperm count, motility and morphology.  However there are more parameters provided in a comprehensive semen analysis that may reveal other pathologies, which are often neglected or overlooked. 

A Comprehensive Semen Analysis will show::

  • Samples have been assessed within the appropriate period of abstinence and within 1 hour of production to ensure reliability of results
  • Description of overall macroscopic and microscopic appearance including volume, pH, presence of debris
  • MAR test (IgA / IgG) as well as agglutination 
  • Presence of other cells and identification of peroxidase positive leukocytes 
  • Sperm count
  • In cases of azoospermia, determination of fructose and centrifugation of semen and pellet examination will be undertaken
  • Motility and analysis of progression
  • Viability testing in cases of low motility
  • Morphology with detailed breakdown of defects, using Kruger strict criteria
  • Teratozoospermia index (TZI) as an indicator of multiple defects
  • Comments to aid interpretation of results

A fully comprehensive semen analysis provides information about the function of the pituitary gland, the testes, accessory glands and spermatogenesis. Here are some of the pathologies it can indicate:


Semen ParametersIndications
Appearance, volume Prostatic disease, genital tract tumour
Liquefaction, viscosity Dysfunction of prostate or seminal vesicles
Volume, pH, viscosity, appearance, debris, leukocytes Male accessory gland infection, inflammation, dysfunction, obstruction
Agglutination, MAR test, motility Immunological infertility
Count Varicocoele, genetic defects, endocrine dysfunction, exposure to heat, toxins, lifestyle factors, spermatogenic arrest 
Count, volume, pH Congenital disorders e.g CBAVD, retrograde ejaculation, malformation or obstruction of epididymis, seminal vesicles, ejaculatory ducts
Motility, progression, vitality Varicocoele, oxidative stress, prolonged ejaculatory abstinence, sperm flagellar defects, abnormal sperm differentiation or epididymal transport, antisperm antibodies, infection, inflammation, heat exposure, lifestyle factors
Morphology – specific defects Varicocoele, oxidative stress, heat exposure, spermiogenesis abnormality, genetic defect, hypo-osmotic stress, environmental toxins, or aging sperm, lifestyle factors
Peroxidase positive cells Inflammation, infection, oxidative stress