What’s in Semen?

A semen analysis report details “what’s in semen”

Your urologist or fertility specialist has ordered a semen analysis. This may be the first time you’ve asked the question: What’s in semen, exactly? It’s the thick, white, sticky ejaculate fluid found in the testes. As part of semen analysis, Ovation Fertility Austin andrologists isolate the sperm cells, approximately 1 percent of seminal fluid. Findings help to determine fertility potential, vasectomy effectiveness or the presence of disease markers. This test is critical early step if you’ve come to a reproductive endocrinologist for Austin IVF or other fertility treatments.

To better understand what semen contains, we will progress through the male reproductive track.

Inside the testes:

  • Immature sperm are found in the coiled seminiferous tubules.
  • Over the course of 4-6 weeks sperm will move to the epididymis, located above the seminiferous tubules.
  • When ejaculation begins, mature sperm travel from the epididymis to the vas deferens (or sperm duct).
  • Contractions in the vas deferens force the sperm forward.

Inside the glands: Fluid is prepared in the seminal vesicle and combined in the ampulla, and finally sperm pass through the prostate gland for another addition of fluid.

Semen is sent through ejaculatory ducts to the urethra, a long tube that runs the length of the penis.

Nutrients, including sugar and salt, in semen fuel the transport of sperm out of the penis and into the woman’s cervix.

Seminal fluid helps the duct system run smoothly and nourishes sperm. The volume of semen that you produce can indicate a problem with the prostate glands or blocked ducts. Semen consistency can help or hinder the sperm’s progression through the cervix to the fallopian tube to meet and fertilize the ovulated egg.

What’s in semen?

The white or gray ejaculate that men produce contains just 5-10 percent sperm. Each man has a slightly different combination of components, but seminal fluid can include:

  • B12
  • Calcium
  • Chlorine
  • Cholesterol
  • Citric acid
  • Creatine
  • Enzymes
  • Fructose (sugar)
  • Lactic acid
  • Magnesium
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

A man’s tubes, ducts and glands work together to manufacture, store and transport sperm-containing semen.
In a single ejaculate of approximately half a teaspoon (or 2.5 millimeters), a normal sperm count will have 40 to 300 million sperm per milliliter. Ovation Fertility Austin lab professionals examine a sample during semen analysis.

Semen analysis and male reproductive health

Sperm are invisible to the naked eye. You can, however, report to your doctor if your semen, or ejaculate, appears pink or red in color, indicating the presence of blood. Or, if you experience orgasm with very little semen, contact your physician about a condition called retrograde ejaculation.

At Ovation Fertility Austin, semen analysis, with the use of phase contrast microscopes, enables us to examine characteristics such as:

  • Sperm concentration
  • Motility (how sperm moves)
  • Morphology (sperm’s physical characteristics)
  • pH
  • Semen volume
  • Semen liquefaction or viscosity (the process of liquid ejaculate coagulating then liquefying again)

If you’re considering Austin IVF, your reproductive endocrinologist will need all of this information while creating your treatment plan.

For over 20 years, Ovation Fertility Austin has provided answers that pave the way for men to become fathers. Semen analysis is the cornerstone of diagnostic tools, and we are committed to providing the most accurate, conclusive and thorough semen analysis reports. Contact us at Ovation Fertility Austin, or click here for a physician referral form.


Learn more about how a semen analysis tells us about your chance at conception.