Fertility testing on the male side of the equation typically involves a semen analysis. A semen analysis evaluates certain characteristics of semen, such as sperm concentration, forward motility of the sperm cells, and the speed at which the sperm swims (velocity) It is done to help evaluate male fertility, and is used in human clinical settings as well as at animal breeding farms.
There are many parameters measured in a standard semen analysis that include both physical characteristics of the ejaculate (volume, color pH) and the characteristics of the individual sperm cells. It is with this latter group that the Hamilton Thorne sperm analysis systems are used.
The main measurements made using a CASA system are:
- Sperm concentration: the number of sperm per milliliter of semen
- Total sperm count: the number of sperm/ml multiplied by the volume of ejaculate (ml)
- Percent Motility: the percentage of cells that are moving
- Percent Progressive Motility: the percentage of cells that are moving a a minimum velocity and on a straight path
- Morphology: the size and shape of the sperm head and tail characteristics