Spermatogram: Definition, Indications, Procedure, Measurement, Normal Values ​​and Detectable Abnormalities

Also called a spermogram, it is a tool to determine the participation of sperm in infertility in a couple.

Its objective is to characterize sperm from a quantitative point of view (total number of sperm and number of normal sperm ) and a qualitative (motility and shape of the sperm).

Practiced in the laboratory, it relies on collecting sperm by masturbation after several days without ejaculation.


Sperm analysis is the primary test in evaluating male fertility. It is done when a couple consults for infertility problems.

It is essential to detect any abnormality in the sperm and, if necessary, determine if infertility is temporary (for example, during fever or with the taking of certain medications) or is permanent.

Before making the definitive diagnosis, the doctor always requests at least two programs that indicate the same results.

A sperm is a male reproductive cell (or gamete) produced in the testes. It consists of a head and a scourge. It contains a nucleus in which all the father’s genetic information is found.


During sexual intercourse, sperm are propelled into the vagina after ejaculation of semen. They must then move with their flagellum to join the oocyte near the ovaries and fertilize it.

How is the examination carried out?

Sexual abstinence of 3 or 4 days should precede the spermogram. In addition, it is advisable to avoid hot baths on the previous days to have an optimal quantity and quality of semen.

How are spermatozoa performed?

In a PMA center or with the specialized laboratory that follows you in the analysis laboratory.

How is the sample taken?

Some men are reluctant to have a spermogram because semen collection is not always undeniable.

Ejaculation is collected in the laboratory, where the patient, alone or accompanied by his partner, must masturbate in an isolated room and deposit his semen in a sterile container provided.

This is an embarrassing time for many men, but the lab staff are used to it and reassure you. Aside from its slightly awkward side, this exam is not painful or binding.

After sampling

Your man will be proud to have taken charge and contributed to your partner’s future happiness.

Sperm is tested within two hours of collection.

Several hundred sperm cells are examined under the microscope for sorting (normal sperm and abnormal sperm). Biochemical sperm tests are then performed.

What is measured during a spermatogram?

Semen analysis allows observing and quantifying different data related to semen:

  • The volume of ejaculation.
  • The number of sperm per milliliter of ejaculate.
  • The mobility and vitality of sperm.
  • The morphology of sperm.
  • Sperm pH and viscosity.
  • Presence of agglutinates and white blood cells in ejaculation.

Normal values

  • Volume: greater than or equal to 2.0 ml.
  • pH: between 7.2 y 8.0
  • Sperm concentration: greater than or equal to 20 x 10,000,000 / ml.
  • Total number of sperm: greater than or equal to 40 x 10,000,000 / ml.
  • Mobility (1 hour after ejaculation): greater than 50% progressive mobility.
  • Mobility (3 hours after ejaculation): greater than or equal 30% progressive mobility.
  • Morphology: greater than or equal to 50% progressive mobility.
  • Vitality: greater than or equal to 75% of live sperm.
  • Leukocytes: less than 10,000,000 / ml.
  • Zinc: 4-14 μmol / ejaculation.
  • Fructose: 25-103.9 μmol / ejaculation.
  • Carnitine : 0.8-2.85 μmol / ejaculation.

What abnormalities can the spermatogram detect?

Some of the abnormalities that the spermatozoa can detect are the following:

  • Oligospermia or oligozoospermia: insufficient concentration of sperm in ejaculation.
  • Asthenozoospermia or asthenozoospermia: low sperm motility.
  • Hypospermia: a small amount of ejaculation.
  • Azoospermia: the total absence of sperm in sperm.
  • Hyperthermia: too much ejaculation volume.
  • Necrospermia or necrozoospermia: spermatogram showing an abnormal percentage of abnormal sperm.
  • Teratospermia or teratozoospermia: too low a proportion of normal sperm.
  • Hesperia: the presence of blood in the sperm.
  • Panspermia: the presence of pus in the sperm.

A single test does not allow any definitive conclusions to be drawn. The spermatozoa must be repeated at intervals of 2 or 3 months and each time give similar values ​​to be considered pathological.

Complementary exams

In some cases, other tests may be requested:

  • A sperm motility and survival test at 24 hours.
  • Biochemical analysis of sperm (sperm culture).
  • An evaluation of the DNA fragmentation contained in the sperm nucleus.
  • A pre-IMSI test: This microscopic analysis of sperm morphology, but with a microscope that grows 5000 to 1000 times.