Semen analysis evaluates specific characteristics of semen and the sperm contained in the sample. This is an investigational method for identifying male infertility. Until recent past, evaluation of the semen has been performed by a laboratory technician manually through a microscope and counting sperms. A sophisticated electronic imaging system was designed to vizualize the sperm and a sophisticated software program to evaluate dozens of individual sperm parameters.
A standard or manual semen analysis will give only the information regarding few parameters like volume of ejaculate, concentration of sperm, motility, pH (the acidity of the fluid) and morphology of the sperm. Computer assisted semen analysis is an automatic or semi-automatic semen analysis technique. Computer assisted semen analysis systems couple video technology and sophisticated micro computers for automatic image digitalization and processing. A computerized semen analysis will give many more parameters that are useful to the fertility specialist like curvilinear velocity, straight line velocity, linearity and flagellar beat frequency. A semen sample is stained and fixed onto a slide. The slides are then read by counting atleast 100 sperms and analysis for the percentage of normal sperms across the sample, defects in sperm morphology and the presence of cytoplasmic droplets obtained are measured. According to WHO, a normal sample should contain 30% normal sperms.