Principles and Practice of Reproductive Science and Diagnostic Semen Analysis (SLS302)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with knowledge and understanding of the normal physiology of the male and female reproductive tracts. They will apply this knowledge as they learn to perform a range of techniques and interpret results from diagnostic semen analysis. They will also gain knowledge of current legislation and regulations.

  1. Apply and interpret quality assurance methodologies in reproductive science.
  2. Apply health and safety methodologies and practices appropriate to the reproductive science laboratory.
  3. Perform to accepted standard relevant techniques for semen analysis and preparation.
  4. Prepare, interpret and report on diagnostic semen analysis (under supervision).
  5. Work in partnership with the reproductive science laboratory and other clinical specialisms in the investigation of infertility.
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1,2,5

Receive, process and store samples for analysis.

2 3

Set up and use relevant microscopes. To include optical principles, maintenance and clinical applications.

3 1,2,3

Measure semen volume, extent of liquefaction and appearance.

4 1,2,3

Perform repeated sperm counts for concentration and motility using the same semen sample and be able to explain the variation observed.

5 1,2,3

Perform diagnostic sperm counts for concentration and motility on different patients and be able to prepare reports for discussion with your supervisor.

6 3,4

Identify normal and abnormal semen samples. To include sperm concentration, motility assessment, morphology, anti-sperm antibody testing, sperm viability testing.

7 3,4

Perform gradient and swim-up techniques for the preparation of semen samples for treatment.

8 4

Produce a record of reports seen and discussed with your supervisor.

9 2,3

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

10 2,3

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Receive semen samples and log into the laboratory information system DOPS
Perform sperm counts using the same semen sample and explain variation observed DOPS
Perform diagnostic sperm counts on different patients DOPS
An appropriate activity agreed with your Training Officer OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe male and female reproductive anatomy.
  2. Describe male and female reproductive physiology.
  3. Explain and evaluate current legislation and regulation as it relates to reproductive science.
  4. Describe relevant techniques for semen analysis and preparation.
  5. Describe and evaluate the application of quality assurance methodologies to reproductive science.
  6. Discuss the purpose and process of preparation and interpretation of clinical diagnostic reports.
  7. Describe the partnership of reproductive science with other clinical specialisms and contribution to patient care.

Indicative Content

  • Overview of sexual differentiation, including differentiation of the fetal testes and ovary, and the endocrinology and embryology of sexual differentiation
  • The anatomy and physiology of the male reproductive tract
  • The anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive tract
  • Hormonal control of female reproduction, including the menstrual cycle, follicle growth, autocrine and paracrine factors regulating follicle growth, follicular fluid, ovulation, corpus luteum
  • Hormonal control of male reproduction
  • Basic understanding of the regulatory mechanisms associated with human assisted reproductive therapy (ART)
  • The roles of ART centre staff: clinicians, scientists, clinical embryologists, nurses, counsellors
  • Principles of and standards for diagnostic semen analysis
  • Characteristics of normal and abnormal semen samples
  • Semen preparation, including different methodologies, diagnostic tests and functional tests