A basic semen analysis may be done to learn if a man is infertile (unable to father a child). Sometimes a basic semen analysis does not provide all the information your doctor needs to diagnose and treat infertility. Your doctor may recommend more specialized tests; these tests are frequently referred to as “advanced semen tests.” The most common of these tests examine the semen for reactive oxygen species, total antioxidant capacity, and damage to the genetic material (DNA) contained within the sperm.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/14/2013.


  • U.S. National Library of Medicine - Genetics Home Reference: Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Sharma RK, Pasqualotto FF, Nelson DR, et al. The reactive oxygen species—total antioxidant capacity score is a new measure of oxidative stress to predict male infertility. Hum Reprod (1999) 14 (11): 2801-2807.
  • Pahune PP, Choudhari AR, Muley PA. The total antioxidant power of semen and its correlation with the fertility potential of human male subjects. J Clin Diag Research. 2013 June Vol-7(6): 991-995.

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