Terms commonly used in semen analysis

The following cases can take place depending on the number of spermatozoids observed in a seminogram:

  • Azoospermia:
    Lack of sperm cells in semen. About 2% of the total male population is affected by it. It may be due to either a lack of sperm cell production in the testicles or to an obstruction in the seminal conducts that prevents them from being ejaculated. When this is the case, at Institut Marquès, the male is examined by our andrologists.
  • Oligozoospermia:
    When sperm cell concentration is lower than 20 million per cc, or when a whole ejaculated matter has less than 40 million spermatozoids. There are different degrees of it. The cause can either remain unsolved in some cases or the right treatment may not be found. It can be caused by alterations in spermatogenesis (formation of sperm cells in testicles) or by an obstruction in the seminal way. It must be examined by an andrologist. If improvement isn’t accomplished, the best assisted reproduction technique, either intrauterine insemination or IVF, is chosen according to the REM test.
  • Polizoospermia:
    It takes place when there are more than 200 million spermatozoids per cc. It may be a cause of infertility since such a high concentration can difficult their movement. Polizoospermia is usually associated to a decrease in the volume of ejaculated matter. It’s solved by preparing semen for intrauterine inseminations.
  • Astenozoospermia:
    This case consists in a decrease of mobile sperm cells. It’s the most frequent seminal alteration and it may be due to a number of causes. At Institut Marquès, we carry out an andrological study when it’s both moderate or severe. See video.
  • Teratozoospermia:
    It’s the presence of an abnormally high proportion of morphologically altered sperm cells. It is commonly associated to alterations in movement quality and produced by anomalies in the formation of sperm cells.
  • Normozoospermia:
    Normozoospermia is diagnosed when semen follows the parameters of normality established by World Health Organization. Table 1: reference values according to WHO (1999). See video.

Does a seminogram guarantee a male is fertile?

No. A normal seminogram informs if ejaculated matter follows the parameters considered to be normal, but doesn’t assure his spermatozoids will be able to cross the oocyte’s outer layers and fertilize it correctly.