Sperm testing gives us a good indication of how fertile a man is. Good sperm parameters are associated with a higher chance that a man will get his wife pregnant if there is no other problem.

When we talk about sperm testing there are many available tests but the most frequently used one is the semen analysis. This involves testing a sperm sample from the male partner for four different parameters.

Sperm count.

This indicates how many sperm there are in one mililiter of the semen. The more there are, the more fertile you are.

Sperm motility

This is a measure of how many of the sperm are moving. Obviously, only sperms that are alive and moving will be able to find and fertilise an egg.

Sperm progression

How fast are the live sperm moving? And are they moving in a straight line (linear movement)? Rapidly moving sperm moving in a straight line are also the most active and likely to create an embryo from an egg.

Sperm morphology

This test looks at what proportion of the sperms are normal looking. Abnormal sperm are either not able to fertilise eggs or are associated with an increased risk of miscarriage of the pregnancy. It is not associated with abnormal babies.

When we do a sperm test we usually compare the results against a normal range for the population. There are two commonly used parameters: WHO and Kruger. Most fertility laboratories use the Kruger criteria, which are more strict in assessing the sperm morphology (normality).