Obtaining a Semen Sample for Analysis

One of the first steps in finding the possible cause of infertility is semen analysis. Find out what will be expected of you for this simple, yet sometimes tough test.

Here's how:

  1. If necessary, obtain and process paperwork for the lab from your physician's office.
  2. Ask the lab or the physician's office if you can obtain a sample at home or must do so in the clinic. This will depend on the distance between your home and the lab.
  3. Obtain sterile receptacle from clinic or lab, if acquiring sample at home. Do not open this until you are ready to obtain sample.
  4. Abstain from ejaculation for 48 to 72 hours prior to generating the sample.
  5. Produce semen sample by masturbation.
  6. If producing the sample at home, you may use the assistance of your partner up to the point of ejaculation.
  7. If producing the sample in clinic/lab, you will be shown to a small room or bathroom where visual materials (such as magazines) are usually available to assist you.
  8. Deposit ejaculate into sterile receptacle.
  9. Tightly close lid to receptacle.
  10. Return to clinic/lab desk as instructed.
  11. If obtained at home, transport semen in receptacle immediately to lab, keeping it at approximately body temperature on the way.
  12. Ask how you will be notified of the results: via phone, mail, or at next physician appointment.

Tips:

  1. If obtaining at clinic/lab, it may also help to bring a portable music player and headphones.
  2. To keep sample warm during transport, try carrying the receptacle within your shirt or in a pocket.
  3. Do not place in an artificially warmed container -- body heat is the correct temperature.
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