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Semen Analysis and Collection

What is it?

This is the analysis of a man’s semen. It is usually easy, cheap, and not too inconvenient and tells the doctor immediately:

  • The number of sperm present (total count)
  • Whether they moving normally (their motility) and if so how well
  • Their appearance and shape (their morphology)
  • The vitality of sperm (number actively moving)
  • Other aspects of the examination include the volume and consistency of the ejaculate produced.

Why is this done?

Almost all couples presenting to Fertility North will have a semen analysis. When the results of this data are collated an assessment of a man’s potential fertility can be given. Frequently, more than one analysis is required, since the testes are a very sensitive indicator of general health and, as sperm are produced over a ten-week period, many factors can effect their production. Apart from azoospermia (no sperm present) no single measured parameter of a semen analysis in an individual is indicative of fertility – it is the assessment of a combination of factors, including your background health, that enable an overall prognosis to be made.

How is it organised?

Semen analysis Appointments Semen analysis appointments are available on variable mornings and early-afternoons throughout the working week, with the earliest appointments available at 8:00am and the latest at 2:30pm, as well as Saturday morning appointments. These are specific times because you are Please ensure that an appointment has been made, as your sample may not get processed necessitating a repeat sample.

AIH preparation

The laboratory is open for semen preparation everyday, and an appointment will have been made approximately two hours before AIH treatment time. Sometimes, you may have only an hour’s notice as to when you are needed to provide a sample. This depends on when your partner is ovulating, so we regret not being able to give you more notice!

IVF/ICSI preparation

For IVF/ICSI preparation, you will be given an appointment time within two hours of the estimated time of egg pick-up. If necessary, we can arrange an earlier time to suit. Collection of the sample Some important information regarding the collection of a semen sample includes:

The sample should be collected in a sterile plastic container, which Fertility North will provide to you. However you can also obtain sterile containers from your local pharmacy or doctor’s surgery.

Method of collection

Studies have shown that best results are obtained when the specimen is collected by masturbation (self-stimulation). Coitus interruptus or withdrawal just prior to ejaculation is an alternative method, however if this method is used, then a “seminal collection device” (a condom type sheath without lubricants) must be used.

The “seminal collection device” can be purchased from the Fertility North for $25 each. Samples collected in a semen collection device must be enclosed in the specimen sample bag provided or alternatively placed in a 50ml sterile container.

Failure to properly package the sample prior to delivery will result in the sample being disposed of and necessitating the collection of another sample.

All lubricants are potentially toxic to sperm. Please do not use any lubricants e.g. KY jelly or Vaseline. All condoms have lubricants that are toxic to sperm; therefore condoms must not be used.

It is important to make sure you have washed your hands prior to collecting the sample.

Where can I produce the sample?

We have a special room here at the Fertility North that is used for producing the semen sample. We do prefer that you use the room, as it enables us to put the sample into the incubator (and thus maintain the temperature) as soon as it is produced. However, if arrangements have been made to collect the sample at home, the sample must be transported to the clinic within 60 minutes of collection.

Please remember that an appointment is required. During transportation, the sample must be kept as close to body temperature as possible, usually carried next to the skin and wrapped in aluminium foil (to avoid exposure to the light). Failure to maintain the sample as per this instruction can lead to the sample integrity being seriously compromised and result in the sample being unusable.

What is the room like?

While it is not as comfortable as your own room at home, the room has a sofa (some adult magazines are also available). A sink is also in the room for you to wash your hands, prior to and after producing the sample.

You are required to fill in a slip of paper regarding the collection of the sample.