Chapter 13 Answers to self-check questions

Basic semen analysis

13.1 What type of cell division does the type B spermatogonium undergo?



13.2 What is the Golgi apparatus converted into?



13.3 What is the role of the prostate gland in semen liquefaction?

It secretes prostate-specific antigens to liquefy the coagulated semen, reversing the action of semenogelin.


13.4 What is the temperature range that is acceptable during transport of the specimen to the laboratory? How could this be best achieved?

A range 20–40 ºC. It may be transported to the laboratory by placing the container inside a coat pocket.


13.5 Which three items of information relating to specimen production does the patient need to record on the request form?

1) Date and time of specimen production 2) Abstinence period 3) Whether the specimen submitted is the whole ejaculate.


13.6 What is the best type of haemocytometer to use for semen analysis?

Improved Neubauer.


13.7 What type of pipette is best for dispensing semen?

A positive displacement pipette.


13.8 Which disinfectant agent is recommended for sterilizing equipment?

Hypochlorite solution.


13.9 What is the minimum post-operative time before testing a post-vasectomy sample? At what stage can the patient be given the ‘all clear’ following a vasectomy operation?

Four months; once two samples are seen that are completely free of sperm, i.e. azoospermic, 2–4 weeks apart.


13.10 What can complicate a successful vasectomy reversal operation?

Anti-sperm antibodies.


13.11 What effect would the presence of blood have on the appearance of the semen sample?

It will appear reddish brown.


13.12 What are the characteristics of the head of a normal sperm?

The head should be oval in shape and about 4.0–5.0 μm long by 2.5–3.5 m wide, with a well-defined acrosomal region occupying about 40–70% of the head area.


13.13 You are presented with a wet preparation slide of fresh semen. When you observe it on the phase contrast microscope you see 50 sperm in each high-power field.

What dilution should you prepare?



13.14 When you observe the counting chamber, you find 20 sperm in each large square. How many squares should you count?



13.15 How many sperm do you expect to count?

Two hundred.


13.16 Now when you combine the answers from self-check 13.13 and 13.14 which dilution correction factor should you use?



13.17 What is the sperm count to be reported in millions per ml?

100 million per ml.


13.18 Which type of cells form the blood–testes barrier?

Sertoli cells.


13.19 Which type of anti-sperm antibodies are most common?



13.20 Why should a negative MAR test slide be checked after ten minutes?

To check that the testing kit used is viable.


13.21 Which type of sperm is stained by the eosin Y solution?

Dead sperm.


13.22 Why does the stain solution penetrate these sperm?

Because their plasma membrane is damaged.


13.23 What can occur if the urethral sphincter fails to close during ejaculation?

Retrograde ejaculation.

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