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Spermogram: what is it, how to prepare and normal values

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Many couples question their possible infertility after failing after a few months of trying to conceive naturally. Anxiety plays a significant role, but it is not until 12 months after trying without success that specialists recommend carrying out specific examinations to check the couple’s fertility.

The program or stereogram is the most basic test for determining the quality of a man’s sperm. This simple test involves collecting a semen sample to analyze it in the laboratory under various parameters, allowing one to know aspects such as the amount of average sperm present in ejaculation or their motility. Do you want to know more? In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain everything about the program: what it is, how to prepare, and the average values.

What is the program, and what is it for?

The program is a study of male fertility through which it is sought to determine the following aspects:

  • The volume of ejaculated sperm.
  • The number of sperm present per milliliter of semen.
  • Motricity and vitality of the spermatozoa.
  • Sperm morphology.
  • Viscosity and pH of the sperm.
  • Presence of white blood cells or binders.

It is a completely painless procedure that collects a sperm sample from the subject. This test is the first step in studying male fertility; it can be submitted to any man who has doubts or questions about his fertility, not necessarily those currently looking for a baby.

How to prepare for a stereogram?

The man must prepare appropriately to provide a quality sample to perform a spirogram and obtain the most reliable results possible. During the examination, the man must masturbate in an isolated room and deposit the semen sample in a container that the health center will provide. It will be made of plastic and will be completely sterilized.

Preparation is required for this test, so the World Health Organization has drawn up a guideline that must be met if a quality sample is offered. Taking into account these recommendations, the man should:

  • Abstain sexually for at least 3 days and no more than 7 days before the test.
  • Do not drink alcohol for at least 4 days.
  • Do not take narcotic drugs such as drugs for 30 days. You also must not have been ill in the 30 days before the sample.

Because many factors interfere with the production of semen, it is essential to follow these recommendations if you want to take an adequate sample. An abnormal result does not necessarily imply sterility or problems conceiving, so if the test does not go as expected, the test will be repeated after 20 days.

Typical values ​​on a program

Sperm volume

It should be 2.0 ml or more. A sample lower than this volume could indicate a problem that hinders normal ejaculation, such as an infection or specific conditions such as retrograde ejaculation.

Sperm count per ml

Also known as sperm concentration, it must be 15 million or more per milliliter of sperm according to the WHO, although some laboratories consider it more significant than 20 million. If the sample is smaller, it can be classified as:

  • Moderate oligozoospermia: 10 to 15 million per ml. Oligozoospermia is considered when the semen is of low quality or with a little concentrated quantity.
  • Severe oligozoospermia: 0.1 to 10 million per ml.
  • Cryptozoospermia: less than 0.1 million per ml. It is considered a factor of sterility.
  • Azoospermia: when there is no presence of sperm in the semen.


It refers to the way sperm move. The reference values ​​are:

  • Class A or +++: excellent, their motility is fast, and the route is straight.
  • Class B or ++: sperm with a progressive rate that is considered moderate. The path is straight.
  • Class C or +: sperm with slow movements and slight displacement. Its path can sometimes be circular.
  • Class D: sperm without movement.

For the sample to be adequate, 50% or more sperm must be found with fast and slow mobility, corresponding to type A + B.


It corresponds to the appearance of the sperm. According to the WHO, a good morphology is equal to or greater than 30%, although some laboratories consider it from 40%.


According to the WHO, the vitality values ​​of the sperm must be greater than 75%.


It should be between 7.1 and 8.1. Although a higher value is not a cause for alarm, it is advisable to pay attention to lower results, as they could indicate an infection.

The results of the spirogram should always be evaluated by a doctor, who will indicate the steps to follow during the process to achieve pregnancy or improve sperm quality, if possible.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Program: what it is, how to prepare, and average values, we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system.

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