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If you have booked a Home Production Semen Analysis Appointment at Cambridge IVF or Ipswich IVF, please read this document carefully prior to your appointment.

Diagnostic Semen Analysis is the examination of your semen in a laboratory using a range of different tests, including using a microscope to determine how many sperm are present (concentration), if they are moving correctly (motility) and if their shape looks healthy (morphology). Although we can get a lot of useful information from one semen sample, the quality of the sample can vary markedly from one sample to the next, so it is likely that you will be asked to provide more than one semen sample as part of your fertility investigations, to help your doctor provide you with a more meaningful diagnosis.

Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis is the examination of your semen using a microscope to determine whether or not sperm are still present in your semen following your vasectomy. The results of the post vasectomy semen analysis enables the doctor to confirm if the vasectomy procedure has been a success. We need to confirm the absence of sperm in your semen (azoospermia) following vasectomy to ensure the procedure has been successful, so you can stop using other forms of contraception. You might need to produce more than one sample over a period of time as it is quite common for sperm to persist in the semen for many months after the vasectomy procedure has been performed.

Please do not attend your appointment if you are unwell or have any COVID-19 related symptoms, such as high temperature, persistent cough or loss of sense of smell / taste.

In order to obtain the best possible semen sample you should observe the following:

  1. Ensure that you have booked a pre-arranged appointment time. Cambridge IVF does not operate a sample ‘drop in service’ at either laboratory, as semen analysis is a time critical test. Failure to do so, may result in your sample not being analysed.
  2. Ensure that you have been provided with a completed semen analysis request form from your doctor and they have indicated the test required. Your form should have your name, date of birth, NHS number, partners name and partner’s date of birth (if applicable).
  3. Abstain from sexual intercourse or masturbation for 2-5 days before producing the sample (unless you are advised otherwise by a member of the team at Cambridge IVF). Shorter or longer periods of abstinence are not usually recommended as this can negatively affect the quality of the sample, resulting in the need for a repeat sample.
  4. The sample must be produced by masturbation. Contamination of the semen sample MUST be avoided. Wash and dry your penis and hands thoroughly before producing your sample directly into the sterile container provided to you. Please do not use any lubricants as this may contaminate your sample and affect the results of the test.
  5. Samples for semen analysis testing should be produced on site where possible. We have provided comfortable, discrete and private rooms for your use when producing your sample and a video system has been installed in the rooms for your convenience.
  6. If producing the sample at home, masturbate and collect the sample into the container making sure you tightly cap it and place it in the self-sealing bag provided. Please complete the label on your pot with your full name, date of birth and address.
  7. Complete the top section of the ‘Delivery of sample from offsite location’ form.
  8. Please indicate on the form if any portion of the sample has missed the pot. Most of the sperm in the ejaculate are contained in the initial portion of the ejaculate. Analysis of incomplete samples may result in inaccurate results. In this case, we may request you to repeat the sample.
  9. Immediately transport the sample to the laboratory keeping it close to the body, for example in a jacket pocket during transportation. The sample should be delivered to the laboratory within 30 minutes after collection and at least no longer than 50 minutes after collection.
  10. Please bring photo ID such as a driving license or passport, so we can confirm your identity, otherwise we cannot accept your sample for analysis.
  11. Inform us of any medical conditions or medication that you are taking, as this may impact your semen sample quality.
  12. Your results will be sent to your referring doctor within 10 working days.

We realise this is a stressful time for you and we are asking you to carry out an intimate process in unnatural settings. If for any reason you are unable to produce a sample please let the team know, and we will do everything we can to reassure you. If you have any questions or comments regarding the facilities or service please notify a member of staff either in the adjacent Andrology Laboratory or back in the reception area who will be very happy to help. Thank you.

Cambridge IVF - Cambridge IVF is located in Trumpington (off-site from the main Addenbrooke’s Hospital) with free parking for patients. Please park in one of the yellow bays outside Kefford House marked with a ‘K’.

The address is: Cambridge IVF, Kefford House, Maris Lane, Trumpington – Cambridge CB2 9LG

Ipswich IVF - The Ipswich Andrology Service is located in the Central Zone, in the Gynaecology Clinic on the 1st floor. This is clearly signposted. A map of the hospital is available online, please see East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust's website (opens in a new tab). Please park in car park G. Please note that parking charges apply (pay and display). Your appointment should not last longer than one hour.

The address is: Ipswich Hospital - Heath Road, Ipswich IP4 5PD.

Further information is available via our website (opens in a new tab).

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151