Sperm Assessment: Traditional Approaches and Their Indicative Value

  • Tania R. Dias
  • Chak-Lam Cho
  • Ashok AgarwalEmail author


Late child-bearing and global low fertility rates led to an increasing number of couples seeking medical counseling and assistance to achieve conception. The specific evaluation of male partners is pivotal in the investigation of infertile couples. Semen assessment represents the cornerstone in the evaluation of the fertility potential of the male partner. Although a number of computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) systems have been developed, the traditional methods have a greater clinical acceptance and wider application. Standard procedures of semen analysis include the macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of ejaculates by a laboratory technician. The result of semen analysis provides important information to the clinician not only about the quantity and quality of spermatozoa, but also the functioning of male accessory glands and genital tract. Although semen parameters alone are insufficient in defining male fertility, they provide clues to the severity of subfertility and assist in the diagnosis by indicating the altered parameters. This information is particularly important in the selection of the most suitable assisted reproductive technology (ART) for infertile couples. Recent developments in semen analysis are focused towards standardization and cost reduction. Several commercially available semen analysis kits allow a private, cost-effective, and easier home testing alternative to patients.


Home testing Male infertility Semen assessment Sperm parameters Sperm quality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tania R. Dias
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chak-Lam Cho
    • 5
  • Ashok Agarwal
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Universidade da Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Microscopy, Laboratory of Cell BiologyInstitute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar and Unit for Multidisciplinary Research in Biomedicine, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.LAQV/REQUIMTE - Laboratory of Bromatology and Hydrology, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryUnion HospitalHong KongChina

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