Determining male fertility status
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Semen is composed of spermatozoa suspended in seminal fluid (plasma). The function of the seminal fluid is to provide nutrition and volume for conveying the spermatozoa to the endocervical mucus.
Male infertility can be affected by a number of causes. Chief among these is a decrease in the number of viable sperm. Other causes include sperm with abnormal morphology and abnormalities of the seminal fluid.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
Volume: > or =1.5 mL
pH: > or =7.2
Motile/mL: > or =6.0 x 10(6)
Sperm/mL: > or =15.0 x 10(6)
Motility: > or =40%
Grade: > or =2.5
Note: Multiple laboratory studies have indicated that semen parameters for motility and grade on average retain 80% of original parameters when our shipping method is used for transport. Using these averages, samples with 32% to 39% motility and grade of 2 may be in the normal range if testing was performed shortly after collection. Therefore, these borderline patients may need to collect another sample at a local fertility center to verify fertility status. Motile/ejaculate: > or =9.0 x 10(6)
Viscosity: > or =3.0
Agglutination: > or =3.0
Supravital: > or =58% live
Note: Fructose testing cannot be performed on semen analysis specimens shipped through Mayo Medical Laboratories. If patient is azoospermic, refer to FROS / Fructose, Semen or Seminal Plasma. Submit separate specimen to rule out ejaculatory duct blockage. Positive result indicates no blockage.
Semen specimens can vary widely in the same man from specimen to specimen. Semen parameters falling outside of the normal ranges do not preclude fertility for that individual. Multiple samples may need to be analyzed prior to establishing patient's fertility status.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
No significant cautionary statements
Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
The World Health Organization Laboratory Manual for the examination of human semen and sperm-cervical mucus interaction. Fifth edition. Cambridge University Press, 2010