Computer assisted semen analysis (CASA)

A semen analysis is done to evaluatespecific characteristics of a male's sperm present in the semen sample. It is carried out to analyze male fertility, either for those seeking pregnancy or verifying the success of vasectomy. A semen analysis is normally done as a part of routine pre-pregnancy testing for infertile couples during sperm processing for artificial insemination (AI) or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), when sperm are frozen either for patients who undergo sterilizing therapies such as chemotherapy or for those who donate sperm.

Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) is an automated and standardized equipment which provides a detailed analysis of sperm concentration, percent motility, density, morphology and vitality of spermatozoa in a semen sample. Moreover, information on morphology, number of immature cells and white blood cells and other routine assessment is also provided to the couple, based on which the best possible treatment plan is discussed. Most systems are based on image analysis but alternative methods also exist. However the latter option is generally not considered as CASA systems.

Computer assisted semen analysis assesses and determines various parameters of sperm motility such as:

  • VSL - Straight Line Velocity (progressive velocity): the distance the sperm moves along a straight line in a time unit (µm/s)
  • VCL - Curvilinear Velocity: the total distance the sperm moves in a time unit (µm/s)
  • VAP - Path Velocity: mathematically smoothed path along which the sperm moves in a unit of time
  • ALH - Amplitude of Lateral Head Displacement (µm)

Ideal Candidates for CASA

  • Women with unexplained infertility
  • Couples undergoing treatments for infertility
  • Men with male factor infertility
  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts at assisted reproduction

Advantages of CASA

There are numerous advantages of choosing computer assisted semen analysis and they include:

  • Highly accurate and reliable when it comes to predicting fertility
  • The results provided by CASA systems are very precise which is normally not provided by basic semen analysis
  • The evaluation of motility parameters by CASA is extremely useful when compared to the results of standard semen analysis.

Setbacks of CASA systems

Although computer assisted sperm analysis (CASA) is highly accurate and outperforms manual techniques, most people prefer non-automated analysis as it is far less expensive than CASA.