Basic Semen Analysis


Basic Semen Analysis

Site(s) or Laboratory offering Test/Investigation



The patient will arrive at the Pathology reception and be greeted by a laboratory staff member who will escort the patient to an Andrology Consultation Room or a private location within the pathology reception waiting area. The laboratory staff will check the patient has a valid request form and check the sample container is correctly labelled in comparison to the request form. The pre-analysis questionnaire will also be checked to ensure it is complete and signed by the patient. This checking process only takes a few minutes. Only then can samples be accepted for testing. • All samples are to be brought to the laboratory by the patient on the date/time of their appointment and must be less than an hour old at the time of their appointment, however samples delivered after 60 minutes post collection due to travel time or traffic issues will not be rejected but the timeframe between collection and time of analysis will be noted on the final report and suitable comments will be added to the report if any of the results are abnormal. • The patient must ensure that the sample is kept as close to body temperature (between 20-37°C) as possible by keeping the sample close to the body in a trouser/coat pocket during transport to the laboratory. • The patient needs to have correctly completed and signed the pre-analysis questionnaire and must bring this to the sample delivery appointment. The reference ranges have been derived from the 2010 WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen 4th edition and are subject to periodic amendment. The interpretation of the report findings can only be granted by the referring clinician in conjunction with the clinical context and the extent of patient compliance with the sample collection instructions. Note: If any results fall outside these reference ranges and it is the first analysis, a repeat test will be suggested to confirm the results.

Sample type

Semen specimen produced by masturbation only, collected into a sterile, non-toxic, pre-weighed, wide-mouthed clear plastic container provided by the laboratory with a hand written label - stickers are not to be used as this will affect the final weight therefore producing an inaccurate sample volume. Note: Any lost fraction of sample can be recorded on the patient’s pre-analysis questionnaire. No minimum sample requirement. For more information please read the Andrology department page.

Turnaround times (TAT) Urgent/Routine/GP or OPD

1 week

Reference intervals (adult unless stated)

Reported Parameters Reference Value Units
Duration of abstinence 2-7 days
Time between collection & analysis <60 minutes
Macroscopic Observations
Volume ≥1.5 ml
pH ≥7.2
Microscopic Examinations
Round cells ≤1.0 x10^6/ml
Total motile ≥40 %
Progressive ≥32 %
Non-progressive - %
Immotile - %
Vitality ≥58 %
Sperm Numbers
Sperm concentration ≥15 x10^6/ml
Total sperm count ≥39 x10^6/ejaculate
Normal morphology ≥4 %