semen analysis

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Analysis of seminal fluid should be the first step in the investigation of infertility since, in the absence of sperm, investigation of the female is futile.


  • 3 days abstinence from intercourse
  • collection of specimen of semen in a sterile plastic container after masturbation
  • examine within 2 hours

NICE state that normal results are:

  • Semen analysis
    • the results of semen analysis conducted as part of an initial assessment should be compared with the following World Health Organization reference values:
      • semen volume: 1.5 ml or more
      • pH: 7.2 or more
      • sperm concentration: 15 million spermatozoa per ml or more total
      • sperm number: 39 million spermatozoa per ejaculate or more
      • total motility (percentage of progressive motility and non-progressive motility): 40% or more motile or 32% or more with progressive motility
      • vitality: 58% or more
      • live spermatozoa sperm morphology (percentage of normal forms): 4% or more



Last reviewed 01/2018