What is a Computer-Assisted Semen Analysis?
Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis or refers to a system where a complex electronic imaging system is used to visualize the sperm, while advanced software programs help measure the numerous individual parameters of said sperm. In this method, the semen specimen is examined with a microscope’s help, which has a high-resolution video camera attached to it. The data is fed via the camera to a computer, which processes it using the required software. Thanks to CASA, medical professionals get analyses that have many more parameters and can help resolve fertility-related issues better.
What is sperm analysis?
Sperm or semen analysis is also known as a sperm count test. It checks the viability and health of the male sperm. We should clarify that semen is the fluid containing the sperm, along with sugar and other protein substances – and is released during ejaculation. The semen analysis measures three main factors of sperm health, including –
- The number of sperm present
- The shape of the sperm
- The movement or motility of the sperm
Usually, two or three tests are conducted to form an analysis of sperm health. Doctors recommend that tests are conducted seven days apart over two to three months. Male sperm count often varies on a daily basis, so only an average of the samples helps medical professionals arrive at an accurate conclusion.
Semen analysis and Sperm motility
Male fertility is largely dependent on the number of sperm moving forward fast, in a progressive manner. In a standard semen analysis, there is some sperm with no movement and some which move forth slowly or don’t go in a forward direction. These samples are not as likely to produce pregnancies easily.
When semen analyses get computerized, every sperm under the microscope comes under observation. Their path can be analyzed over a fraction of a second, and various parameters can be calculated accurately. Among the parameters calculated are-
- The overall percentage of motility for sperms showing movement.
- Rapid motility percentage for sperms traveling at 25 um/second or faster.
- Linearity percentage for sperms moving in straight-line paths.
- Progressive motility percentage for sperms moving fast and in a straight path.
- The average speed of all sperms within the field of view.
- Average lateral head displacement, which is essentially the distance that the sperm head ‘wiggles’ while moving.
Semen analysis and sperm morphology
When the sperm is placed under a microscope, it is observed that some have a normal appearance, while others have an abnormal appearance. Men with normal fertility will have a specific percentage of sperm with a normal appearance.
Over time, there have been several criteria and cutoffs to differentiate ‘normal’ from ‘abnormal’ sperms. While the standard set by the WHO (World Health Organization) has been followed so far, recent studies have shown that there is scope for greater accuracy. Thus, the medical community has shifted to ‘Strict Morphology’ or ‘Kruger Morphology,’ named after the man who created it.
Here, sperm is evaluated more closely, and there is a stricter criterion for what is normal. For example, earlier, men with 30-50% normal sperm would be considered okay, while Kruger’s method caps it at 14%. While technicians often do not analyze sperm morphology consistently, CASA takes this issue away, and the system has the added benefit of being validated by Kruger.
Parameters of CASA
The parameters needed for CASA include –
- VAP or average path velocity
- VSL or straight-line velocity
- VCL or curvilinear velocity
- ALH or amplitude of lateral head
- BCF or beat cross frequency
- LIN or linearity
- STR or straightness
Ideal candidates for CASA
Two types of individuals are ideal for CASA. They include the ones who want to get tested for male fertility or the success of a vasectomy.
Since a semen analysis is important for a couple trying to get pregnant, the test helps the doctor understand whether the man is infertile. With the help of CASA, sperm count, dysfunction, and other infertility reasons become evident.
Vasectomy is a process where tubes sending sperm from testicles to the penis are cut and sealed as a permanent birth control measure. Often men who undergo the process take a CASA test to see if there’s any sperm in their semen. Doctors recommend monitoring once a month for three months after a vasectomy to see if sperm reappears in semen.
Advantages of CASA
The benefits of CASA include –
- Quick analysis
- Completely reproducible with the same settings
- Highly detailed analysis
- Greater statistical power due to the objective analysis of several sperms
How does the CASA technique work?
Computer technology evaluates the way sperm moves and how it appears. The computer observes the sperm under the magnifier and is ready to make a highly digitized image of every sperm by tracking its speed and the path it covers. It makes the process easier for humans to analyze and draw conclusions about fertility.
CASA test procedure
While the test process is simple enough where your semen is collected and put under the microscope, there are some ways you can prepare for it. Among them are –
- Avoiding ejaculation for 24-72 hours before the test
- Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and drugs like marijuana and cocaine two to five days before the test
- Avoiding herbal medications
- Avoiding hormone medications
Semen analysis test cost (casa test cost)
Fortunately, the cost of a Semen analysis test is not too high in India. While the prices vary from state to state, the average is around Rs. 489 for males. At the lowest price you can get tested, you will have to pay Rs. 100, while at the most, you will have to pay Rs. 900.
What are the signs of unhealthy sperm?
There are some factors to consider when seeing the health of sperm. These include shape, count, and motility. As far as the count is concerned, an average of 15 million sperms for every milliliter of semen is healthy. If you have more, there’s no harm, but having lower than 15 million is a sign of unhealthy sperm.
Similarly, anything less than 40% of sperms being strong swimmers is cause for concern. Finally, healthy sperms have round heads and long, strong tails. If your sperm’s shape does not match this, then it is likely to be unhealthy.
Superfoods for fast sperm production
2) Pumpkin seeds
3) Dark, leafy vegetables
5) Dark chocolates
6) Pomegranate juice
7) Salmon and sardines
8) Brazil nuts
Causes of sperm infections
Sperm infections are mostly caused by bacteria, which originate from the urinary tracts of patients. Sometimes it might also be transmitted by the partner during sexual intercourse. It is often found that the microorganism present in males with genital tract infections or semen contamination is Escherichia coli.
Is it healthy to eat sperm?
Presumably, nobody wants to know whether they can consume their own sperm. But, semen is safe to ingest mostly and does contain protein. However, for it to be a potential protein source, one would have to consume gallons. It also contains other components like zinc, sodium, sugar- glucose and fructose, lactic acid, potassium, urea, among others. That said, sperm doesn’t have too many calories.
Some of the actual benefits of eating sperm are that it is a potent mood booster since it contains –
6) Hormone that releases thyrotropin
Some also believe sperm has stress-relieving properties. A controlled study in 2003 also showed that women exposed to this condition for a long time, before and after pregnancy, had lesser chances of developing preeclampsia, a rare pregnancy-related complication.
That said, ingesting sperm might put you at the risk of STIs, and in some rare cases, there might be allergies. The condition is known as human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP).
Thus, sperm has its benefits and is undoubtedly crucial to the reproduction process. Thus, it is best to get the swimmers analyzed using the accurate and dependable CASA process in case of any complications.
Dr. Jay Mehta
MBBS, DNB – Obstetrics & Gynecology
IVF & Endometriosis Specialist, Laparoscopic Surgeon (Obs & Gyn)
Dr. Jay Mehta is a renowned IVF specialist and fertility preserving surgeon in Mumbai, India. He is the Scientific Director of Shree IVF and Endometriosis Clinic, as well as the director of Uterine Transplant, Advanced Endometriosis and Gynac Cancer at Global Hospitals, Mumbai.
He is a well-known Fertility and IVF Specialist and also among few doctors in the country who specializes in Embryology and Andrology. He operates India’s major cities including Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Agra, Delhi etc.
Dr Jay sir is the God of Endometriosis. There is no one better and more honest than him. Assistants Vismay sir and toral madam and harshita madam are so good.
I am operated here for severe endometriosis of the urine bladder. I am done laparoscopic surgery here under guidance of Jay sir. My recovery is excellent and I am heading back home in a day itself.
For people who have endometriosis, this is the person to go to.
We came to know about Dr. Jay from YouTube videos. He gave us best advice. In Sept 21, my wife got operated at his hospital and relieved of all the pain. Lot many thanks to you sir.
The best doctor for endometriosis in India and Mumbai.
We came from Karnataka to Mumbai to do surgery. He is such a famous surgeon and a doctor. Extremely impressed with your humble behavior.
My wife had bowel endometriosis. There is one thing that I wish to mention. He is a very straightforward doctor. He answers everything, but he doesn't take over the smart nonsense of the patient.
Don't go by his simplicity, he will make such strong punchlines that your ego will come down to earth. He asked me to be a MAN. I will never forget that motivation
B S KHAN
One of the best endometriosis doctor for doing surgery. We have come to Mumbai from Jalgaon for this surgery. Very fantastic hospital. Very famous dr jay Mehta and very kind with heart.
All blood tests are done in hospital only so no running around to laboratory again and again. There are many good food joints around for out of Mumbai patients to eat good food. Thank you staff for kind guidance.
I was suffering from severe endometriosis since years. We have had previous 3 surgeries. The pain was excruciating.
Finally we were told about Dr Jay Mehta by our doctor. My surgery was a big one. It involved bowel resection for endometriosis.
Dr Jay had assured me that I will up and bout in the next day of surgery and here I am. Going home. Pain free. This is one person who is GOD for me. I don't know how best to thank him. Thanks a lot. You are by far the best doctor for Endometriosis Treatment in Mumbai, I have met in my life.
Thoroughly impressed by your direct and honest approach.
The best doctor in India for Endometriosis. I am actually honored to be treated by Jay sir.
I had come to him 3 years ago when he told me about surgery, but I got misguided by many other doctors and I took a leupride of 11 injections. Unhappy with the result and pain, I come back to Jay Mehta sir.
He scolded me but then operated on me too. I thank you him, for being so an honest and genuine doctor.
The KING of Endometriosis as he is rightly called, considers my finances and operates me in charity surgery. My family bless you always