Semen analysis is used to test fertility. The analysis requires a semen samples, typically collected using masturbation. The sample is collected in a sterile container and handed over to a lab technician. The technician studies the qualities of the semen and sperm in the sample and a report is generated based on the findings. If you have recently completed a semen analysis and your sample showed dead sperm, is this common?
The Male Reproductive System
Sperm are produced constantly, but not all sperm are ejaculated before they die. At any given time, lab technicians are looking for 60% quality. That means 60% of the sperm in a given semen sample are active, moving and healthy. That leaves 40% that are either irregular or dead.
Necrozoospermia and Asthenospermia
Most men will not have any idea what these two terms mean because the conditions are extremely rare. Asthenospermia is a condition characterized by lack of sperm movement, also known as reduced sperm motility. There is a good chance some of the sperm in your semen analysis sample lacked movement, but patients with asthenospermia can be complete with 100% of the sperm being immobile.
Asthenospermia is often mistaken for necrozoospermia at first glance. Necrozoospermia is diagnosed when all sperm in multiple semen samples are dead. Semen analysis must be completed multiples times to verify the condition because small factors like improper semen collection and use of a spermicidal lubricant can cause what looks like necrozoospermia. In asthenospermia the sperm are not dead, just not moving, but that can look exactly the same under a microscope.
So, just because you recently received a semen analysis report that showed dead sperm does not mean there is a medical problem. As long as 60% of the sperm are moving and ready to fertilize the egg you are in good shape. Even if your number is slightly lower than 60% you can still conceive a child.