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Sperm analysis done. What does the value signify? Is there any complications?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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can someone explain if this is ok? is this a really bad state? pls advise
sperm count=46.0 M/mL
motility % progressive=72.0%
motility % non progressive=2%
motility % immotile=26%
WBC = nil
RBC = nil
agglutination = not present
vitality (% alive) = 87%
Morphology = 5.0 %
Progression - rapid: 1%, forward: 74%, slow: 21%, non progressive; 4%
large oval head: 0%
small oval head: 22%
pin head: 1%
tapering head: 6%
round head: 10%
duplicate head: 0%
pyriform head: 2%
amorphous head: 59%
Posted Thu, 16 Aug 2012 in Men's Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Thanks for writing in.

The semen analysis gives information on the characteristics of the semen and the sperm contained within the semen.

I will quote the lower acceptable limit for the values, these are values above the 5th centile which means that it is what is seen in 5 percent or more of men. The
WHO uses these limits.

The lower limit for a normal pH is 7.2, so yours at 7.4 is above that and would be considered normal. The WHO range is 7.2 to 7.8. You have another value for ph of 8 which may have been for another sample? A ph of 8 would be considered a little high or basic, in some cases a high ph may indicate infection.

The lower limit of normal for the volume is 1.5 ml, your value at 5.1ml is well above that and would be considered normal.

The lower acceptable limit ( according to the WHO) for the sperm count is 15 million sperm per ml, normally at least 20 million per ml. The value you quoted was 46 mill per ml. This is also above the lower limit and is acceptable.

Motility assesses the number of sperm that are seen under the microscope with flagellar motion and the lower acceptable limit ( for progressive and non progressive added)is 40%, normally it is at least 60%. At 72% your motility is also normal. In terms of progressive motility on its own, the lower limit is 32%.

The absence of white blood cells (WBC) and red blood cells (RBC) is good, they would have indicated an infection or inflammation.

Agglutination means clumping together, if this occurred then the sperm might not be able to ' swim' to reach the egg, so again the absence of agglutination is a good thing.

The lower acceptable limit for vitality which is the the percentage of live sperm is 58%. Your value is 87%.

Morphology refers to checking the structure of the sperm to see what percentage of them look normal. The lower acceptable limit according to WHO ( examined men whose partners got pregnant in last 12 months) is 4% however most persons are considered to have normal morphology if it is above 30%. Your value is 5 % which is only just above the acceptable value.

Progression again just explains how fast they are moving. Normally the movement should be at least 2+ which indicates slow directed forward movement, only 4% of the movement was said to be non progressive which is good.

The last breakdown there refers again the morphology or structure of the sperm and shows the percentage which the structures that were seen under the microscope , normally a smooth oval head is seen. Abnormal shapes are said to be small, large, pyriform or amorphous.

Most of the results were above the lower limit, only the morphology was just above the lower limit
Sometimes persons with abnormal morphology are checked for exposure to heat, infection or radiation.

I hope this answers your question and I wish you the best. Feel free to ask any additional questions.
You should also speak to your doctor about any additional concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Sperm analysis done. What does the value signify? Is there any complications? 30 minutes later
Hi, thanks.

A few more related questions:

1) i did this test with about 5 days abstinence from sex, so if i do the test again with 3 days abstinence from sex, would that improve morphology %?
2) you mention some persons with abnormal morphology are checked for exposure to heat, infection or radiation? so you saying heat will cause sperms to defect? if that is the case before i release the sperm, would it make a difference if i ensure the testicles are cool first?
3) would exercising improve morphology %? any other natural way to improve morphology?
4) under progression, i have only 1% (rapid) is that considered bad?
5) overall, with the results earlier, are the chances of conceiving still favourble?

Kindly advise. thanks
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Hi and thanks again.

There are a lot of different factors that can affect the quality of sperm collected which is why it is difficult to characterize semen based on one sample and two or three are usually done because they can be daily variations in number and quality of the sperm collected.
It is normally suggested that one does the test after a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 7 days of abstinence and if more than one sample is done then to try to keep the days as constant as possible. So if you did it after 5 days before, then to allow for comparison it should be done at 5 days again; please consider this if your doctor requests a second sample.

The morphology is said to be affected by prolonged and repeated exposure to heat, so that acutely reducing the temperature would not likely have an effect.

There are some lifestyle suggestions for improving the quality of the sperm, these include - eating healthy, not smoking and decreasing exposure to any harmful substances or toxins. Some medical studies indicate that a diet that is high in vitamin C and E (two antioxidants - get rid of substances that can damage the body) can improve the quality of sperm by reducing damage to the sperm membrane.

Only 1% rapid progression is ok. That is because only 4% were non progressive and the rest ranged from slow to rapid. We want the movement to be at least slow and directed forward. 74% of yours were directed forward. So no need to worry

What is measured in semen analysis are only some of the factors that determine semen quality. The more defects the results show, the lower the chances of fertility. However the only abnormality, while it is important, is that the morphology is at lower limit. Remember over 4% is acceptable and yours is 5%.
Even if more results were abnormal, it would not necessarily mean you would be infertile , there are many men with abnormal semen analysis who are able to father children and if natural methods are not effective then you can be assisted by a specialist in that area.

However based on the results presented here, provided there are no other physical or stress related health related factors either for you or your partner, then your chances should be favourable.

Hope I have answered all your queries. Feel free to ask anything else.
If all your queries are answered, please close this discussion.

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