Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Lab Anal. 2003;17(6):247-58.

Semen analysis in laboratory practice: an overview of routine tests.

Author information

Semen Research Unit, Homero Soares Ramos Laboratory, PetrĂ³polis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Semen analysis is a basic step in the investigation of several disturbances affecting the male genital tract. Analysis of seminal parameters provides important clinical information on the spermatogenesis and functional competence of spermatozoa, as well as on the secretory pattern of the accessory genital glands. Semen analysis is particularly useful in the evaluation of couples requiring fertility investigation (to detect genital infections and pathologies) and in verifying the influence of environmental factors, drugs, lifestyle, chemical products, and professional activities on several diseases affecting male reproductive health. Measure of semen quality is of substantial interest for diagnoses in clinical urology, andrology, and gynecology. Currently, basic requirements for semen analysis are standardized by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that describe several procedures for an objective evaluation of the semen quality with diagnostic purposes. These guidelines include: parameters for the physical and biochemical evaluation of semen; parameters for the analysis of sperm characteristics; and other seminal parameters that can be easily adopted in any laboratory. This report summarizes current concepts on semen analysis and the significance of the seminal parameters for reaching a diagnosis based on the procedures recommended by WHO guidelines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center