BACKGROUND: Many reports have shown problems with the high variability in results of semen analyses. The Special Interest Group in Andrology (SIGA) of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) implemented a standardized training course which has been run in different regions of the world on more than 20 occasions since 1994. The aim of the present analysis was to investigate to what extent training resulted in any immediate effects on the variability of assessments made by different observers.
METHODS: The variability in participants' results from the beginning to the end of each course was analysed in eight courses given between 1995 and 1999.
RESULTS: For assessments of sperm concentration, motility, vitality and morphology, substantial improvement was seen over the duration of the course.
CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive, structured training course does lead to substantial reductions in inter-observer variability in semen analysis. This supports our contention that providing a thorough theoretical background and repeated practical training, combined with daily feedback of results, is highly effective in raising the technical skills of laboratory personnel performing semen analysis.
- Cell Survival
- Societies, Medical
- Sperm Count
- Sperm Motility