Improving standard practices in studies using results from basic human semen examination

Lars Björndahl*, Sandro C Esteves, Alberto Ferlin, Niels Jørgensen, Cristian O'Flaherty

*Corresponding author for this work


The purpose of this article is to provide an explanation of the background behind a checklist that declares the laboratory methods used in a scientific study. It focuses primarily on implementing laboratory procedures to yield reliable results in basic semen examinations. While the World Health Organization (WHO) and international standards provide recommendations for basic semen examination, manuscripts submitted to Andrology frequently lack transparency regarding the specific techniques used. In addition, the terminology used for semen examination results often fails to provide a clear definition of the groups under study. Furthermore, the WHO's reference limits are often misinterpreted as strict boundaries between fertility and infertility. It is important to note that valid clinical andrological diagnoses and treatments cannot rely solely on semen examination results; they require proper laboratory procedures as a foundation for diagnosing and treating male patients. Therefore, scientific journals should promote the adoption of robust laboratory practices and an accurate definition of patient groups. A checklist can facilitate the design of high-quality studies and the creation of informative publications. Further, it can help journals assess submitted manuscripts and improve the overall quality of their publications.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1225-1231
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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