A semen analysis is one of the most important tests in the evaluation of Male fertility. A semen analysis provides information on semen parameters such as sperm count, motility and morphology.
- The sperm count refers to the number of sperm observed in the sample.
- Sperm Motility refers to the speed at which the sperm are moving, or not.
- The Sperm Morphology refers to the shape of the sperm.
- A normal sample would be expected to have high numbers of rapidly moving sperm.
The sperm count and motility are generally accepted to be the most important indicators of the male fertility level. This is also referred to as the TMSC, Total Motile Sperm Concentration. On your semen analysis report you will see your TMSC along with the reference ranges for fertility status.
SPERM DNA FRAGMENTATION TESTING
A Sperm DNA Fragmentation test measures the status of the Sperm DNA which is located in the sperm head. For some individuals, this DNA can have high levels of fragmentation which may affect the fertility status. It is possible to have increased Sperm DNA Fragmentation levels even with a normal Semen Analysis result.
At ReproMed we offer 3 types of Sperm DNA Fragmentation Tests. The TUNEL assay (Terminal Transferase dUTP Nick End Labelling), the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and the COMET assay (the single-cell gel electrophoresis assay). All sperm DNA tests are not the same. Each test measures different aspects of sperm chromatin damage and as a result have variable levels of diagnostic and prognostic strength.
The type of test will be determined by your doctor. In all cases a portion of your sample will be sent to an external laboratory where the test will be performed.