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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Semen Analysis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Semen Analysis (online CE course)

Liquefaction should be complete before viscosity is assessed.
Semen viscosity can be estimated by aspirating the sample into a wide-bore plastic disposable pipette, allowing the semen to drop by gravity and observing the length of the thread that is formed. A normal sample leaves the pipette in small drops with very little trailing thread. A semen sample that is abnormally viscous will form a thread more than 2 cm long.
A specimen that is more viscous than normal after liquefaction may have reduced sperm motility. During sexual intercourse, hyperviscosity can prevent the sperm from reaching the cervix.