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Variable Motility in same collection

Transported semen from everyone's perspective!

Moderator: Jos

Variable Motility in same collection

Postby Jacspin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:24 am

I was just curious for insight:

On Monday, our 5 year old stallion was collected and semen was processed for shipment from Oklahoma to Tennessee. The vet who inseminated the mare within 26 hours of collection reported a motility of 30%. We sent two doses so the vet inseminated using the second dose approx 36-38 hours after collection, but reported a motility of 60%. I thought that curious and wondered about it.

Historically, the stallion has semen concentration of 480-560 million/ml unextended and has 50 percent forward motility of 50% 24 hours after extending/cooling. No change 48 hours after extending/cooling. So the 30% surprised me.

Any insight on things that I can do on my end is greatly appreciated.
Jacspin
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Re: Variable Motility in same collection

Postby Jos » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:42 am

Once one uses CASA (computer assisted semen analysis) one quickly realises that progression in a sperm is an over-rated commodity! :) In fact 50-60% progression with freshly ejaculated sperm is very good and it's actually not that often that one sees progressive motility above 60%! 30% at 36-48 hours would be good.

In reference to your wondering why one sample would be different from the other if out of the same ejaculate, the most likely cause would be issues related to warming the sperm prior to evaluation. This would particularly apply if the semen had been shipped in a Disposable shipper - at 24 hours (upon receipt) it would still be cool, but if kept in that shipper, by 36-48 hours it would have warmed up as many disposable shippers don't have the ability to maintain the cool for that length of time. Alternatively, if an Equitainer was used, then simply unequal warming processes would be the cause.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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Re: Variable Motility in same collection

Postby Jacspin » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks for your insight. Extended semen doesn't usually gain % in motility the longer it sets? It usually declines? I wondered about a cold slide or cold lab myself. I guess I should have asked the protocol for how they handled the specimen once received might explain more.

Interesting your comment about motility. I dont use a computer aided determination about motility, rather the tried and true (he.he) eyeballing method. Does it really make a difference of 30-60%, then?
Jacspin
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Re: Variable Motility in same collection

Postby Jos » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:42 pm

Jacspin wrote:Thanks for your insight. Extended semen doesn't usually gain % in motility the longer it sets? It usually declines?


If evaluation techniques are consistent (which they should be!), then there will generally be a decline of motility over a period of time. There are factors that could inversely affect this statistic - for example, as I mentioned, if a disposable shipper is used and suitable and consistent and correct sample warming procedures are not followed prior to evaluation, as the cooling effect of the disposable shipper container will have reduced over an extended period of time, the semen within the container may have had the opportunity to warm up, which will increase motility - although of course over an extended period of time it will decline again as the sperm die.

I wondered about a cold slide or cold lab myself. I guess I should have asked the protocol for how they handled the specimen once received might explain more.


A failure to follow consistent procedures would be the most likely reason for inconsistency in results and an apparent increase in motility.

Interesting your comment about motility. I dont use a computer aided determination about motility, rather the tried and true (he.he) eyeballing method. Does it really make a difference of 30-60%, then?


There is much published research that has demonstrated an inconsistency of visual evaluation abilities. While a variation from 30% to 60% is significant, if there were two different evaluators (either of whom were inaccurate) plus the extended time frame, you could in fact have a situation where the first sample was underestimated by 20% and was actually 50% and a second sample was overestimated by 20% and was actually 40% - which would probably be a more realistic representation of the declining motility.

Freund M, Oliveira N. (1967) Visual versus cinemicrographic evaluation of human sperm motility and morphology. Arch Androl. 1987;19(1):25-32.

JEQUIER A.M., UKOMBE E.B. (1983) Errors Inherent in the Performance of a Routine Semen Analysis; Brit.J. of Urology 55;4:434–436

Interpretation of Semen Analysis Results: A Practical Guide By Rajasingam S. Jeyendran: The visual estimation of sperm motility can vary by as much as 20%. Since precise motility determination is of relatively little value for fertility testing, such visual estimation, while subjective and not precice, nonetheless clinically suffices.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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Jos
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