Seminal Fluid Analysis

(SFA, Sperm Count)

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Rationale

-  Investigation of men for reasons of infertility

 

Procedure

-  3 days+ abstinence of from ejaculation

-  Masturbation into a sterile container at home or at clinic

-  First part of ejaculation must be included & all sample must be collected

-  Should not be collected from condom (spermicides)

-  If necessary can use a special condom (religious reasons)

-  Testing must be performed within 2 hours of collection/ejaculation & kept at body temperature

-  Preferably within 20min

 

Results

- Volume

-  N > 2.0 ml, 2–6ml

-  Low volume: decreased seminal vesicle component, retrograde ejaculation

- pH

-  N 7.2–8.0

-  Prostatic secretions acidic

-  Semina vesicle fluid alkaline

-  < 7.2: blockage of seminal vesicles

-  > 8.0: infection

- Sperm count

-  N > 20 million sperm/ml

-  Imprecise measure or fertility

-  Highly variable between & within individuals

-  Multiple samples 2+, weeks apart

-  Illness, esp. fever reduce count

-  Azoospermia: obstruction or absence

- Motility

-  N > 50% w normal motility

-  Immotile sperm: structural problems, necrospermia

-  Liquification: prostatitis

- Morphology

-  N > 15% normal forms

-  < 5% poor fertility

- WBC

-  < 1 million cells/ml

- Sperm Antibodies

-  <50% sperm adherence

 

Implications

-  Males w low sperm count &/or poor motility may require ICSI for pregnancy

-  Azoospermia may be treatable or permanent