Male Infertility Investigation

Sperm Test

The basic male fertility investigation is a sperm test.

The test is done after an abstinence period (no ejaculation) of about 3 -5 days.

In a well equipped andrology laboratory, there are 4 basic parameters that are of concern. Other parameters measured are rarely abnormal. These parameters are reported according to WHO standards (World Health Organisation)

  • Sperm concentration

    Sperm concentration

    The lower range of normality is when at least 15 millions sperms for every millilitre (ml) of semen is found. Sperm concentration above this value is considered “normal”.

  • Vitality


    This means what is the percentage of life sperms in the sample. It should be at least 58% ( at least 58 out 100 sperms are alive).

  • Motility


    This parameter looks at the movement of the sperm. At least 40% of the sperms should be moving. The movements are further graded according to how fast it moves and direction of the sperm movements.

  • Morphology


    This parameter looks at how normal a physical shape of a sperm looks like. This is done under high powered microscope. At least 4% ( you read it correctly!) of the sperms should be normal-looking to be considered “ normal ”.

Based on the sperm test , male fertility can be classified as:

  • Normospermia : Normal test results
  • Oligozoospermia : Low sperm concentration
  • Azoospermia : Absence of sperm
  • Hypospermia : low semen volume
  • Hyperspermia : high semen volume
  • Asthenozoospermia : Low motility
  • Teratozoospermia : Low in normal morphology
  • Necrozoospermia : all sperms in the ejaculate are dead

Hormone tests

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) , Luteinising Hormone (LH) , Testosterone

Imaging test

Scrotal ultrasound ( in specific cases only)

Diagnostic surgical procedure

Sperm mapping or diagnostic TESA