Semen Analysis

Semen analysis is performed as part of a fertility check to evaluate the characteristics of a man’s sperm. Semen analysis is performed only on an appointment basis. We work by appointment only so that we may analyze each specimen as quickly as possible after collection in order to obtain the most accurate results. Please call one of our offices to schedule an appointment.

What is the Process?

 Certain steps must be taken for a semen analysis.

1. Two to five days of abstinence (no ejaculation) is required before obtaining a sample for analysis. Longer periods of abstinence may increase the sperm count, but the percentage of sperm that are actively motile will decrease. Conversely, shorter period of abstinence may result in some decrease in the number of sperm present. Two to five days of abstinence before a semen analysis provides the most accurate results.

2. A semen sample is preferably obtained by masturbation. Wash your hands with soap and water, making sure to rinse away any soap residue. Dry thoroughly prior to collecting the sample. Collect the ejaculate directly into a sterile specimen container provided by our staff. The specimen container should already be labeled with your name and Social Security Number. Please make sure to collect the entire ejaculate.

In general, lubricants, including saliva, should not be used to help collect the sample, as they may negatively affect sperm parameters. If a lubricant is required, our staff will provide a special lubricant that will not affect the results of a semen analysis.

Semen specimens may also be collected through sexual intercourse with a condom.  However, many regular condoms contain chemicals that are harmful to sperm, so please obtain a special, non-toxic collection condom from our staff if you wish to produce a sample using this technique. After collection of the sample in the condom, securely tie off the condom with the supplied twist tie and place it into the labeled sterile specimen container.

The sample may not be produced by either oral sex or coitus interruptus (having intercourse without a condom and withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation) since both methods may lead to an inaccurate semen analysis.

3. The sample should be submitted for analysis as soon as possible after collection. It is preferable to collect the sample at our facility. Specially designed rooms are available. If you need to collect the sample at home, you must be able to transport it to the laboratory within an hour after collection. Keep the specimen as close as possible to body temperature while transporting it to the laboratory. Placing the container under your arm, inside your pants, or inside your shirt will accomplish this. The sooner the sample is provided to the laboratory after collection, the better.