The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Semen Analysis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Limits of Semen Analysis

Semen analysis can provide important information related to the function of the male reproductive system; however, it does not ensure that a male is fertile, even when results are within normal limits. (There are causes for male infertility that are not detected by routine semen analysis). It is also important to note that there can be considerable differences between one semen analysis result and a subsequent analysis for a single individual. Therefore, samples taken over a period of several months should be obtained; this will give the best baseline results for each individual.
An abnormal result does not always mean that a couple cannot conceive. Men with suboptimal sperm counts have been known to father children. Also, infection, trauma, stress, febrile illness and medications can cause temporary subfertility.