How does RSG handle packaging of frozen semen?

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  • Packaging: Straws vs. Pellets
    • Semen straws are either ¼ ml or ½ ml by volume and semen pellets are approximately ¼ ml volume.
    • Semen straws offer the benefit of clearly labeled individual packages versus the pellet which is contained inside of a tube with the labeling being on the container. The goal is to have a minimum of 30 million progressively motile sperm cells per LAI insemination or 50 million progressively motile sperm for ET post-thaw.

Both methods can result in good quality semen.

  • Concentration is the number of sperm cells packaged in the straw. The goal is to have 30 million progressively motile sperm cells per insemination post thaw. The pre-freeze concentration is of less value knowing since we are using semen based on the post thaw evaluation.
  • Sperm cell motility is simply the ability of the cell to maintain motion. Caution must be used in evaluating motion of sperm cells as they can have motility, however it must be linear progressive motility (moving in a straight line). Pre-freeze motility is not important as we are using semen after it is thawed. So clearly post thaw linear progressive numbers are what you need to know. In our practice semen thawed with post thaw motility under 60% is discarded and the ram should be refrozen.
  • Velocity is simply how fast the sperm cells are moving, rated on a scale of 0 to 5. Anything under 3 is not acceptable.
  • Morphology is the appearance of the structure of the sperm cells. Sperm cells have three main segments the head, mid-piece, and the tail. Abnormalities of any one of these segments will affect the quality of the frozen product as well as the fertilization rate.
  • Minimum standards: In summary an ideal frozen semen product needs to be ¼ ml in volume, 60% or greater of the sample having linear progression equaling a minimum of 30 to 50 million sperm cells with a velocity of +4.
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