Semen analysis is the cornerstone of functional evaluation of the male reproductive system and fertility. In most laboratories, semen analysis is performed with subjective methods and results depend on the skillfulness and judgment of the observer.
Up to now there has not been any widely available technology for reliable assessment of motility characteristics. Sophisticated and costly equipment has been developed to establish objective sperm analysis using image analysis techniques, which are time consuming, expensive and relatively inaccurate (Comhaire et al., Objective semen analysis: has the target been reached?, Hum Reprod, 1992, 7:237-241; Kamtchouing et al., Etude comparative entre trois méthodes d'analyse de sperme. Andrologie, 1991, 1:61-64).
The AutoSperm method allows objective semen analysis using inexpensive equipment and fully validated technology. The following elements of semen analysis are accurately assessed: sperm concentration, % motility, motility grading (in agreement with the World Health Organization Laboratory Manual for the Examination of Human Semen and Semen-Cervical Mucus Interaction, Cambridge University Press, 4th ed, 1999), concentration of grade (a), (b), (c) and (d) motile spermatozoa, as well as motility characteristics including velocity, linear velocity and linearity.
The data are acquired in less than 5 minutes per semen sample. The database can be configured to contain data of additional analyses.
The method has been proven accurate, reproducible and clinically useful (Hinting et al., Validation of a single step procedure for the objective assessment of sperm motility characteristics, Int J Androl, 1988, 11:277-287; Hinting et al., Capacity of objectively assessed sperm motility characteristics in differentiating between semen of fertile and subfertile men. Fertil Steril, 1988, 50:635-639).