The Importance of Semen Sample Liquefaction and Viscosity for Semen Analysis

June 16, 2016


In addition to the obvious issues with sample loading in the SQA testing capillary, would concentration readings be higher or lower in a sample which has not fully liquefied?


1.  Running a non-liquefied (or viscous) semen sample will most probably result in inaccurate results for the following reasons:

2.  The sample is poorly represented. In a fully liquefied sample, sperm cells are evenly spread throughout the semen volume and this makes the sample taken for analysis more representative of the entire ejaculate.

3.  Concentration and other semen parameters may vary in both directions in the case of running a viscous sample. 

4.  Motility may be lower in viscous samples.

According to the WHO 5th manual, each highly viscous or non-liquefied semen sample should be treated to bring it to normal viscosity prior to testing (WHO 5th ed. manual, p. 13-15;)