Semen analysis and external quality control schemes for semen analysis need global standardization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



One semen analysis laboratory [the Institute of Reproductive Medicine (IRM), Münster, Germany] was enrolled in three external quality assurance programmes in Europe (United Kingdom External Quality Assurance Scheme, European Academy of Andrology, European Society of Human Reproduction) that control for the assessment of sperm concentration, sperm motility and sperm morphology. Agreement between the participating laboratory and the sperm concentrations designated by all three programmes was good. Disagreement between two quality control (QC) programmes providing motility assessment was particularly noticeable in the distinction between motility grades a and b. For the identification of normal sperm morphology, marked differences between the standards set by different QC programmes were apparent. One programme was stricter in its categorization of normal forms, such that an overestimation of normal forms was diagnosed at IRM, whereas agreement with the other programmes was achieved. Variation of results from technicians in the IRM internal QC programme was


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2002