A 2 to 5 day period of abstinence from any ejaculation prior to semen collection is recommended for the most accurate results. The entire sample must be collected by masturbation, WITHOUT the use of lubricants, and into a sterile collection container. Lubricants can damage the sperm sample, resulting in inaccurate results, and can contaminate a sample intended for insemination use.
RDI has private collection rooms, however, specimens may be collected at home provided the sample is collected into a sterile container, can be received by the lab within approx 30 minutes of collection, and is maintained at body temperature during transport.
A semen analysis is a critical component of infertility testing and provides the referring physician with essential information about the clinical status of the individual. This is typically the initial male evaluation performed during an infertility- based workup. Numerous parameters of the semen are evaluated including volume, viscosity, percent non- liquefaction, sperm cell density, forward progression, activity, round cell determination, and agglutination.
Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis
A post- vas analysis is an abbreviated semen analysis, focusing on the presence or absence of sperm cells in the semen following a vasectomy.
Retrograde Semen Analysis
During retrograde ejaculation, semen is ejaculated into the urinary bladder rather than through the remaining reproductive tract and out through the penis. The sperm cells can be retrieved from the urine using various methodologies and used for assisted reproductive procedures including sperm cryopreservation. A retrograde semen analysis includes evaluation of both the ejaculate that may be collected and the voided urine sample using the same parameters as in semen analysis.
Freshly ejaculated semen or previously unwashed cryopreserved specimens are washed prior to use for any intrauterine insemination procedure, including IVF. The wash process concentrates and separates the usable, motile sperm cells from non-motile sperm, debris and surrounding seminal fluid.
A semen sample can be successfully cryopreserved (frozen) and stored for later use. This is advantageous and applicable in a variety of situations. See the Future Fertility for additional details.
Living sperm cells without motility are distinguished from dead sperm cells during a viability analysis. A staining technique is used based on the principle that a dead cell with a deteriorated membrane will allow the stain to enter, while an intact (viable) membrane will not. Normally, a semen sample should have greater than 50% viable sperm cells.
A morphology analysis is a microscopic examination and evaluation of the shape of each individual sperm cell. Criteria have been established for assessing normal and abnormal head, neck, midpiece, and tail sections of sperm cells. These criteria have been associated with fertilization rates in ART procedures. Therefore, assessing sperm morphology may be helpful in a physician’s determination of which ART method should be utilized to yield the most successful results.
Sperm antibodies may interfere with the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. Direct methods are utilized to detect the presence of antibodies on sperm cells and indirect methods are utilized to detect antibodies within the female’s bloodstream. The antibody test is a specialty test used by a physician attempting to diagnose otherwise unexplained infertility.
This assay tests for the presence of fructose, a specialized sugar, in a semen sample. It is usually ordered or performed if a blockage of the reproductive tract is suspected.