The spermodiagram or microscopic analysis of the sperm is the basis for assessing male fertility by providing valuable information on the number, mobility and morphology of sperm. If the number and / or motility and / or morphology of spermatozoa are lower than normal, then we are talking about male infertility.
The sperm sample must be produced on the day of its analysis and upon appointment. The collection is done with masturbation and can be done either at home or in a specially designed area of our center. If the collection is done in your home, then the fresh sample should be delivered to the laboratory in a sterile container ideally within 25 minutes of its production time. In any case, two (2) to four (4) days of abstention are required to have evaluable test results. Less abstinence time may lead to a reduction in sample volume, while greater abstention may result in decreased sperm mobility. In addition, at least two spermodiagrams are required for the correct assessment of male fertility over a period of three (3) to six (6) months, because certain conditions may affect sperm levels.
The following basic parameters are evaluated with the Spermodiagram:
According to the World Health Organization, the normal volume is 1 - 5 ml. Disturbances in sample quantity are usually associated with improper function of the prostate and the seminal vesicle.
Absence or reduced volume of ejaculation is observed in the following cases:
- Congenital agenesia of the excretory pores (epididymis, seminal resources, seminal vesicles, lecyths)
- Loss of part of the sample during collection
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Absence of seminal vesicles
- Full or partial obstruction of excretory pores
- Interstitial gland infection
- Psychological causes
- Frequent sexual encounters
Concentration of spermatozoa
According to the World Health Organization, the normal value of sperm concentration should be greater than 15 million sperm per ml. The number of sperm in the sample indirectly determines the level of testicular function of the man.
A semen sample based on its concentration can be characterized as:
- Oligospermic, when the number of sperm is lower than normal (<15 ml / ml).
- Azoospermic, when no spermatozoa is found in the sample.
The mobility of the sperm sample is evaluated based on the percentage of the moving sperm in the seminal fluid and the quality of the movement (type of movement). According to the World Health Organization, the percentage of moving spermatozoa should be greater than 40%. When the sperm mobility rate is lower, then the specimen is designated as a asthenospermia.
Qualitative assessment of mobility is classified into four categories:
- Category Α - Fast forward movement
This includes sperm that move fast and have a forward propulsion movement in a straight line.
- Category Β - Slow / sluggish forward movement
This includes sperm that move forward slowly on a curved, straight or zigzag line.
- Category C - Non-propulsion / On-site movement
This includes sperm that have local mobility and do not move forward.
- Category D - No mobility
This includes spermatozoa that have no mobility.
This parameter refers to the 'appearance' of spermatozoa, that is, its size and shape. A normal sample must have at least 15% normal forms. When a high percentage of abnormal sperm is observed, the sample is teratospermic.
According to the strict Krüger criteria, abnormal sperm are classified into four categories:
- Sperm with shape and head size abnormalities.
- Sperm cells with neck and intermediate abnormalities.
- Sperm with tail abnormalities.
- Immature forms of sperm.