The sixth edition of the WHO manual on semen examination: ensuring quality and standardization in basic examination of human ejaculates

L Björndahl, Jackson Kirkman-Brown, other WHO Laboratory Manual for the Examination and Processing of Human Semen Editorial Board Members

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A basic semen investigation has established principles that are necessary for ascertaining reliable and internationally comparable results. Although these principles have been present in the WHO manual since its inception, the baseline issue across most published studies and practice in reproductive medicine (in which the male is considered) is repetitive failure to adhere to these principles, thereby leading to relevant comparable data and accuracy.

To address this failure, the sixth edition of the WHO manual includes revised basic methods, and a complementary formal standard of the International Standards Organization (ISO23162:2021) for basic semen examination has been published. Perhaps the most significant change in the sixth edition is the reintroduction of the four-category distinction of sperm motility, which causes additional work for laboratories in changing reporting parameters but is clinically important.

Another essential change is the widened focus from mainly a prognostic tool for medically assisted reproduction to additionally raising awareness of semen examination as a measure of male reproductive functions and general male health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume117
Issue number2
Early online date2 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Sperm concentration
  • sperm motility
  • sperm vitality
  • sperm morphology
  • manual semen examination

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