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Instructions for production of semen samples

Patient information A-Z

Cambridge IVF logo with slogan 'creating your future'
Cambridge IVF

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

  1. Abstain from 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). Longer periods of abstinence are not usually recommended as this can negatively affect the quality of the sample.
  2. Inform us of any illness or medication that you are taking.
  3. We have provided comfortable, discrete and private rooms for your use when producing your sample. A video system has been installed which you may use.
  4. For your own privacy please remember to lock the door when you are using the private room to produce a sample.
  5. Contamination of the semen during production MUST be avoided. Wash and dry your penis and hands thoroughly before producing your sample into the container provided. Please use the soap and paper towels provided.
  6. The sample must be produced by masturbation. Please do not use any lubricants as this may contaminant your sample. Collect the sample into the container provided to you labelled with your name and date of birth.
  7. Inform us if any of the sample is lost. Most of the sperm in the ejaculate are contained in the first portion. If you do miss some we may ask you to repeat the sample to ensure we obtain an accurate result.
  8. Ensure you fully complete the bottom part of your referral form including your duration of abstinence and whether you collected the entire sample.
  9. At our Cambridge lab: Place your sample into the hatch in the sample production room and close the door. Press the switch to the side of the hatch and leave it turned on. This will inform a member of staff in the adjacent lab that your sample is ready to be collected for analysis. At our Ipswich lab: Place the sample container and your completed referral form on the bench and ring the bell provided to let the lab technician know that your sample is ready.
  10. Once you have produced your sample you are free to leave. Your results will be sent through to your referring doctor within ten 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 cannot produce a sample please let us know, 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.

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.

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151