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Andrology leaflet - analysis and test results

Patient information A-Z

Cambridge IVF

Please read this booklet carefully. It contains important information on how to obtain your test results and what support we can offer with your next steps.

Looking for more information ?

We hold regular evening information events and weekend drop-in open days where you can find out more about fertility treatment and explore the services that Cambridge IVF can provide to you.

Our team of experts are available to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with accurate and relevant information to help you make an informed decision about your on-going fertility care.

If you are keen to explore your fertility as a couple further, we offer a self-funded fertility health check which assesses male and female fertility potential and can help identify and explain any reasons why you may be struggling to conceive. For more information, please see our website.

We strongly believe in truly patient focussed and individualised care and take pride in the quality and effectiveness of the services we provide.

Details of our forthcoming information evenings are available on our website and via our social media.

Alternatively give us a call or drop us an email, we’re here to help!

Kefford House 01223 349010 Option 2
(Andrology service)

Maris Lane

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri 08:00 – 17:00
Sat 09:00 - 13:00

How do we test your semen sample?

We will test your sample for the following parameters;

  • Motility - sperm are grouped into four categories (A-D), depending on their ability to move. Grade A and B sperm are the most fertile and ‘swim’ the fastest.
  • Concentration - This is the number of sperm cells in millions per millilitre of semen.
  • Morphology - shape and size of sperm are assessed and the percentage of ‘normal’ sperm are reported.
  • Non-sperm cell count - Non-sperm cells (otherwise known as round cells) are counted. A high presence of these cells could indicate the need for further investigations.
  • Macroscopic tests - We also assess the volume, pH, liquefaction and viscosity of your semen sample.

Post-vasectomy semen analysis

After your vasectomy, your doctor will refer you to us for a post-vasectomy semen analysis. This should be done no less than 12 weeks and 20 ejaculations post vasectomy and any further analyses at least another four weeks thereafter.
Your samples will be analysed for the presence or absence of sperm cells. Clearance (i.e. confirmation that contraception can be stopped) can be recommended by your surgeon once you have provided us with one complete sample where there are no sperm present (azoospermia). Clearance after one analysis is subject to the sample being produced onsite and compliance with the recommended minimum abstinence period of two days. Some men have small residual amounts of immotile sperm present in their samples and sometimes even motile sperm seen in their semen post
vasectomy. In such cases we will advise your surgeon of our findings and it may be necessary for you to provide further samples before we can advise clearance.

Obtaining your test results

Once your sample has been analysed your test results will then be sent electronically to your referring doctor. To allow time for your doctor’s surgery or clinic to process the result we recommend that you allow ten days following your test for your results to be available from your GP or Consultant.

Can I get my results directly from you?

Unfortunately, we cannot give out your results directly over the telephone. However, once you have received the results from your doctor, if you feel that you require any further information or advice then please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

Why might I need to attend for a repeat a test?

If your results fall outside the values considered ‘normal’, or if you are unable to collect all of your sample, your doctor may ask that you arrange to repeat the test to ensure you receive an accurate and meaningful diagnosis. If your second test confirms the findings of the first test and indicates a diagnosis of sub-fertility, you and your partner may be advised to consider assisted conception treatment.

Even if your results indicate a normal semen analysis, it may be that you and/or your partner have other underlying issues preventing you from conceiving naturally which need investigating. It is important to consider the reproductive health of both
partners during fertility investigations.

What might my next steps be?

If your test results confirm a diagnosis of sub-fertility you may be eligible for NHS-funded treatment and have a choice of providers. Cambridge IVF can assist and offer you treatment in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Cambridge IVF also offer a comprehensive range of self-funded treatments options for people who are not eligible for NHS funded treatment and can offer assistance when choosing the most suitable treatment care pathway for your needs.

Don’t leave it too late to seek advice

The biggest limiting factor in the success of any fertility treatment is the age of the female partner. This means that the sooner you seek help and engage in fertility treatment the better the chances of that treatment being successful. If you and your partner are struggling to conceive and are unsure what to do next please give us a call. We are happy to speak to you and help you identify your next steps and a treatment pathway that is right for you.

We are smoke-free

Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

Other formats

Help accessing this information in other formats is available. To find out more about the services we provide, please visit our patient information help page (see link below) or telephone 01223 256998.

Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151