Our Andrology Laboratory is an independent referral laboratory, which provides Diagnostic and Specialized services to many physicians and patients in the area. All laboratories are CLIA certified and accredited by the Joint Commission. Under the direction of Dr. Rodriguez we consistently comply at a high-level with all pertinent regulatory agencies. Our bilingual laboratory personnel are licensed medical technologists who have undergone extensive training along with multiple years of successful hands on experience in their area of specialty.
Laboratory hours by appointment only. For instructions, or to schedule appointments call 954-584-2273, or 1-866-246-2273
The examination of the male’s semen is an integral part of the infertility evaluation of a couple. The semen analysis is most often performed early in the couple’s infertility work up. A Complex semen analysis involves more than just counting the number of sperm; it is an accurate measurement of the number of sperm, their motility (forward movement) over a 24-hour period, and their normality (shape). The information gained from this examination is still today the single most important test in the evaluation of the male partner and plays a pivotal role in the evaluation of the infertile couple. In a Complex Semen Analysis the morphology assessment (% normal forms) of the sperm cells is performed using Kruger’s strict criteria, which has been correlated with the sperm’s ability to fertilize an oocyte under in-vitro conditions. In a Simple Semen Analysis the evaluation of morphology uses a less conservative evaluation system.
To evaluate sperm morphology, a slide of raw semen is prepared, fixed, stained and evaluated at 40x to 100x magnification. Characteristics of the sperm head, midpiece, and tail are noted. A minimum of 200 sperm are examined during a morphological assessment.
Sperm motility is largely dependent on the biochemical environment; however, even under circumstances when environmental factors are not an issue, an apparently normal sperm sample may show a pronounced decrease in motility overtime; this is probably caused by iatrogenic factors. Sperm motility is extremely important to achieve fertilization of the egg; therefore, it’s evaluation overtime serves as an indicator of any potential problems with fertilization. The 24-hr sperm motility test is designed to test the capacity of a sperm sample to maintain motility over a 24 hour period and will identify a decrease in motility before a fertility treatment is initiated.
Traditionally, laboratory methodology for evaluation of the male has been limited to the complete semen analysis, which determines the total normal motile count; that is the number of sperm with normal shape and proper progressive motility. Recent studies, however, indicate that it is just not a matter of numbers alone, but rather of “quality”.
In a study with a large number of couples undergoing IVF-ICSI, viable pregnancies occurred in very few cases when the proportion of sperm with damaged DNA was larger than 30%. Other follow up studies have in fact pointed out that fertility potential is highly related to DNA damage in the sperm.
As a result, and in an effort to further refine the evaluation of the male, the SCSA measures the degree of DNA fragmentation in sperm.
SCSA is performed via flow cytometry and measures in a large number of sperm (5000, as opposed to 200 to 300 in conventional semen analysis), the level of DNA fragmentation with a high level of repeatability.