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Private semen analysis

Patient information A-Z

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If you have booked a Private 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 tools and tests and a microscope to determine how many sperm are present (concentration), if they are moving correctly (motility) and if they look healthy (morphology). It is important to realise that although we get a lot of useful information from one semen sample, the quality of the sample can vary markedly from one sample to the next in everyone, 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 offer you 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. We need to confirm the absence of sperm in your semen (azoospermia) following vasectomy to ensure the procedure has been successful. This process enables your doctor to confirm to you that the vasectomy procedure has been a success and 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.

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 resulting in the need for a repeat sample.
  2. Inform us of any illness or medication that you are taking as some symptoms and medication can affect semen sample quality.
  3. 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. A video system has been installed in the rooms for your convenience.
  4. For your own privacy please remember to lock the door when you are using the private room.
  5. Contamination of the semen during production MUST be avoided. Wash and dry your penis and hands thoroughly before producing your sample directly into the sterile container provided to you. 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 contaminate your sample and affect the results of the test. Collect the sample into the container provided to you pre-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. Our staff will provide you with a form. Ensure you fully complete the bottom part of the form including your duration of abstinence and whether you collected the entire sample.
  9. 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.
  10. Once you have produced your sample you are free to leave.
  11. Your results will be sent to your email address within 3 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.

Semen production room - a chair and foot stool, a small table and a television mounted on the wall.

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 ESNEFT 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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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151