Significance of Positive Semen Culture in Relation to Male Infertility and the Assisted Reproductive Technology Process

Joshua S. Jue, Ranjith Ramasamy


Transl Androl Urol. 2017;6(5):916-922. 

In This Article


The incidence of positive semen culture does not consistently differ between fertile and infertile men. Semen quality parameters between men positive and negative for each bacteria species differ between studies, with no unifying trend or clinical significance. Attempts to reduce bacteria in sperm from skin flora contamination or urethral flora contamination through increased skin preparation or urination have been unsuccessful. Although bacteriospermia has no significance in the ART process, there are new techniques to isolate sperm from bacteria. Leukocytospermia can be detrimental to sperm quality, but is not related to bacteriospermia. Overall, there does not appear to be an indication for routine semen culture prior to IVF or cryopreservation. However, leukocytospermia and a positive semen culture need to be treated to account for the symptoms of patients.