What is a Sperm Test (Spermiogram)?

Spermiogram is a microscopic examination performed to evaluate the reproductive potential of a male patient for couples who want to have children. Semen analysis is the simplest and most important test that can be applied to a male patient. The result of the sperm test is the guide in deciding the best treatment. 

How is a spermiogram done?

A period of sexual abstinence of 2 to 7 days is required before a sperm test. When abstinence is less than two days, the sperm count may be low, and when it is more than 7 days, the sperm count may increase, but motile sperm count may decrease. For this reason, the day of sexual abstinence is always questioned before the test. The doctor will be contacted if a different situation is encountered. We request you give the semen sample in our clinic in a room specifically prepared for this purpose. Sperm mobility will be low in samples brought from outside, therefore we prefer that the semen sample is taken in our clinic. 

The semen sample taken from the patient is evaluated with the help of a special instrument called the Makler Chamber. With this instrument we can determine the total, mobile and immobile sperm counts. The Makler Chamber also grants a standardized area to calculate the sperm count per millimeter square. 

After counting, the sperm spread on the slide are stained and evaluated morphologically (shape). After the staining process, at least 200 sperm are evaluated, and the average is taken. Thus, the rate of sperm with normal shape in the semen is determined. Normal sperm rate is very important as only normal shaped sperm can fertilize the egg. 

How long does a spermiogram result take?  

Spermiogram is a very important test that should be examined by experienced people in safe hands. This test can be evaluated in 2-3 hours, and it gives us a lot of information about male reproductive health. You can get your result on the same day and consult our doctor for an evaluation. 

What should be taken into account when giving a sperm sample? 

·         Please wash your hands before the procedure. 

·         Please do not use any lubricants (spit, soap, etc...) during the procedure. 

·         The sperm container given to you is sterile, please do not touch its interior. 

·         Please collect all of the samples in the container. If you cannot collect the entire semen sample in the container, please be sure to inform the staff. This can cause changes in the test results. 

How are normal sperm values determined? 

Initially, each clinic would use their own sperm values, so the normal values differed from country to country. Therefore, it was not possible to evaluate sperm measurements from different clinics. For this reason, WHO (World Health Organization) published a manual to evaluate a semen sample, which is periodically updated. The most recent update, which updated normal sperm values, was in 2021. These normal sperm values were determined by the average sperm values of samples from men whose spouses became pregnant in the last 12 months. In our clinic, a spermiogram is performed according to this WHO manual. 


What Are Normal Sperm Values? 

The World Health Organization Manual for Human Sperm Analysis, which is the guide we use to evaluate semen samples, was and republished in 2021. The updated manual, which was initially published in 2010, updated normal sperm values after a long hiatus. It's good to be able to say that not much has changed for overall male reproductive health; at least nothing has deteriorated. The normal sperm values published by WHO (World Health Organization) in 2021 are as follows: 

How should Spermiogram results be evaluated? 

The volume of the sperm sample should be at least 1.4 milliliters. Sperm concentration, which is the amount of sperm in a milliliter, should be 16 million, and the entire semen sample should contain 39 million sperm.  

Another important criterion is the mobility of sperm, is called motility. After the 2010 guidelines we used to classify the sperm in three groups: progressively motile, non-progressively motile, and immotile. With the 2021 WHO guidelines the sperm are classified in four groups: fast progressively motile, slow progressively motile, non-progressively motile, and immotile. Total motility rate increased to 42% in 2021 from 40%. 

Another important criterion is morphology, which is the shape of the sperm. This is important because only a normal sperm is able to fertilize the egg. Before 2010, evaluation for this criterion were complicated, because WHO had different classifications. In 2010, they adopted Kruger's values as standard normal values. In Kruger's evaluation, the criteria for evaluating the head, neck, and every other part of the sperm are very precise; none of the sperm outside the standard values are classified as normal. Previously 4% morphology was considered normal, which didn't change with the 2021 guidelines. 4% morphology is still considered within normal parameters.  


Semen parameters

WHO 2010

WHO 2021

Semen volumes (ml)



Sperm concentrations (x106 /ml)



Total motility (%)



Progresif motility (%)



Vitality (%)



Normal sperm morphology (%)



Where should I have the spermiogram test done? 

Semen analysis is an easy but very important test that should be done in safe hands and evaluated by experienced people, because it tells us a lot about the male patient's reproductive health. This test determines what kind of treatment is needed, and if any further tests are necessary. For this reason, you should thoroughly research the clinic you will have the test done in. 

For detailed information or to make an appointment, you can call us at any time on +90 224 251 50 00 or reach us via WhatsApp on +90 530 886 52 63


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