Ensuring high QC testing semen in clinical settings

July 28, 2021

Over the past 40 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) laboratory manual for the examination and processing of human semen has become a vital guide for laboratory examinations, widely translated and used extensively by clinical and research laboratories throughout the world, and the sixth edition of this important tool has been published.

The sixth edition of the WHO laboratory manual for the Examination and processing of human semen replaces the 2010 version. It provides important information on semen examination and preparation for clinical evaluation, assessment, cryopreservation, quality control in the semen analysis laboratory, and laboratory examination in the investigation of male sexual and reproductive health.

Semen analysis is critical in both clinical practice and epidemiological research. Assessing how male reproductive organs function and whether there are any pathologies (abnormalities) in the genital tract can both enable appropriate treatment for male sexual and reproductive ill health, and monitor response of individuals to respective treatments.

It includes new and expanded sections on semen sample preparation, determining markers for infection, computer-aided sperm analysis, and processes for basic, extended, and advanced examination of human semen.

Updates include clear instructions and explanations on the order in which analyses should be performed when a semen sample is delivered to the laboratory, including Quality Control and External Quality Assessment. There are step-by-step procedures and checklists for the international community of laboratory technicians and scientists working with human semen.

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