The spermiogram is the semen analysis aims to evaluate the quality of the sperm, through the verification of the shape, number and motility. This examination is the main tool for assessing male fertility.
The reliability of the examination depends on a proper performance, which involves: complete abstinence prior to the examination between 3 and 5 days (a shorter period decreases the concentration of spermatozoa, a longer period it decreases the motility); suspension of drug therapies (hormones, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, steroids); collection of the sample by masturbation manual, in good conditions of hygiene and in wide mouth containers; sample collection preferably at the laboratory where analysis is carried out, if this is not possible the sample can be collected at home in a sterile container for urine and taken to the laboratory within an hour upright endeavoring to keep warm, preferably in a pocket close to the body.
The collected sample is subjected initially to an evaluation “macroscopic” for the determination of certain physical-chemical characteristics, in particular appearance, volume, pH, viscosity and fluidization. It is then carried microscopic evaluation, or even better auto mode (which allows a standardization of the examination), for the determination of concentration, motility and morphology of spermatozoa.
The test may be done according to international standards of the World Health Organization (WHO 1999, then revised as WHO 2010), which specifies instruments, preparatory mode and setpoints “normal” of the measured parameters.