WHAT IS A SEMINOGRAM
Seminogram, also known as spermiogram, is a diagnostic test that evaluates the quality of a semen sample.
This test analyses semen characteristics such as appearance, volume, pH, viscosity, as well as microscopic information such as the quantity or concentration of spermatozoa, their motility and morphology.
The above-mentioned parameters constitute the basic semen analysis. However, in order to have a complete diagnosis, it is necessary to check that the spermatozoa are capacitated and to determine the REM (Motile Sperm Recovery) value. This type of semen analysis is known as REM semen analysis and basically consists of counting motile spermatozoa.
From the REM semen analysis, a separation of the progressive motile spermatozoa from the rest is carried out, so that we can determine, among other things, which reproductive treatment is most appropriate for us, should it be necessary to resort to one.
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HOW IS THE SEMEN SAMPLE OBTAINED TO CARRY OUT THE SEMEN ANALYSIS?
To obtain the semen sample necessary to carry out a semen analysis, it is advisable to collect it by masturbation, preferably at the centre, after a period of between 2 and 5 days of sexual abstinence.
In the case of people who, for various reasons (spinal cord injury, sexual dysfunction or similar) cannot carry out the collection of the semen sample through self-stimulation, there are other alternatives that the clinic makes available to patients.
¿CUALES SON LOS VALORES NORMALES DE UN SEMINOGRAMA?
With regard to the normal values of a semen analysis, the main indicators are the following:
- A semen volume greater than 1.5 millilitres.
- The concentration of spermatozoa must be greater than or equal to 15 million per millilitre.
- The spermatozoa must show a progressive motility of 32% or more.
- The spermiogram must show normal sperm forms greater than 4 %.
Any result that falls within these values is considered a normal spermogram. Alterations in these values are variable in severity and may be due to a variety of causes. The degree of spermiogram abnormality is related to the probability of achieving a pregnancy naturally.
¿CUALES SON LAS PRINCIPALES ALTERACIONES DE UN SEMINOGRAMA?
The most common abnormalities that result in the semen analysis not being considered normal are as follows:
Low ejaculate volume:
A low sperm volume may be due to various causes such as problems in the collection with loss of part of the sample, non-compliance with the abstinence period, retrograde ejaculation or other pathologies, infections or obstruction of the seminal ducts, among others.
Alterations in sperm concentration:
We can differentiate between three types of alterations in sperm concentration:
- Oligospermia: when the concentration is less than 15 million spermatozoa per millilitre.
- Cryptozoospermia: when the concentration is less than 100,000 spermatozoa per millilitre.
- Azoospermia: when there are no spermatozoa present.
Alterations in sperm motility:
If sperm motility is less than 32% it is considered asthenozoospermia.
Alterations in sperm morphology:
If the shape of the spermatozoa is less than 4%, we call it teratozoospermia. This is an essential parameter when determining whether to resort to IVF or ICSI.
WHAT TO DO IF MY SEMEN ANALYSIS IS NEGATIVE?
Regardless of whether our semen analysis is negative or not, it is always advisable to perform two semen analyses to confirm the diagnosis. Especially if there is a large time difference between them or if the result of one of them is abnormal.
Depending on the results, history and clinical history, the medical and laboratory team can assess the need for more advanced diagnostic tests such as sperm DNA fragmentation or FISH in spermatozoa.
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Do you have questions about the Seminogram?
A semen analysis is a diagnostic test that evaluates the quality of semen. It analyses the presence of spermatozoa and the count, motility and morphology of these spermatozoa.
No. Many factors can influence the quality of a semen analysis, from fever to medication or lifestyle. When we observe an altered semen analysis, we must analyse the possible causes of the alteration. Testicular tissue is partially renewed approximately every 72 days, which is why it must be repeated after a period of time recommended by our laboratory team to confirm the diagnosis.
Many factors can affect the quality of a semen analysis. Acute infections caused by high fever, certain types of medication, sedentary lifestyle or stress. Also testicular or hormonal pathologies can influence sperm production and semen quality.
It is advisable to perform two seminograms to confirm the diagnosis, as testicular tissue is renewed approximately every 72 days. This is essential if there is a large time difference between them or if one of them is very altered. It is also important to assess the history and rule out any recent factors that may have affected the quality of the semen analysed (fever, medication, stress, etc.).
The semen analysis studies the concentration, motility and morphology of the spermatozoa. It is complemented by sperm capacitation to assess the fertilising capacity of the sperm. However, there is a percentage of men with normal values in the semen analysis, but who are considered infertile because they have high values of sperm DNA fragmentation. This is why it is important to perform complete semen studies in order to improve the probability of success in assisted reproduction treatment.