Wet Mount Assessment of Sperm Motility

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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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Wet Mount Assessment of Sperm Motility

Two wet mount slides should be prepared and examined for sperm motility. Evaluate at least five fields and/or a minimum of 200 spermatozoa on each replicate. The high power objective (400X magnification) should be used. For very low counts, increased numbers of fields may have to be examined, and the total number of sperm may be less than 100.
Calculate the average percentage of each category on each slide and then compare the differences between the two percentages for the most frequent motility grade reported (progressive, non-progressive, or immotile). The table below, provided by WHO 5th edition, may be used to determine if the counts obtained from the replicate slides agree sufficiently. If they are not, two additional replicates should be made from the original specimen, and the motility assessment should be repeated.
Acceptable Differences Between Two Percentages for a Given Average
Determined from Replicate Counts of 200 Spermatozoa (total 400 counted)
Average (%)Acceptable Difference
3 - 44
5 - 75
8 - 116
12 - 167
17 - 238
24 - 349
35 - 6510
66 - 769
77 - 838
84 - 887
89 - 926
93 - 955
96 - 974