Semen is the fluid that is released when a man has an orgasm. Semen carries the sperm in fluids that should nourish and protect it. You will typically be asked to provide a semen sample by masturbating into a sterile container. If masturbation is not culturally acceptable, we can provide you with a special condom in which to collect semen during intercourse.
The semen analysis provides a lot of information about the quantity and quality of both semen and the sperm it contains. Some of the things that are measured are:
- How much semen a man produces (volume)
- The total number of sperm in the semen sample (total count)
- The number of sperm in each milliliter of semen (concentration)
- The percentage of sperm that are moving (motility)
- If the sperm are the right shape or not (morphology)
The analysis can also suggest if you have an infection in your reproductive system.
- Schedule an appointment to either collect in our office or drop-off your sample.
- Abstain from sexual relations or any ejaculation at least 48-72 hours prior to your scheduled appointment.
- Samples collected after 2 – 3 days abstinence will usually yield a sample that exhibits your standard count with the highest numbers of motile sperm and greatest forward velocity.
- Abstaining too long (5 days or more), generally produces a sample with somewhat diminished quality.
While masturbation, in our office’s private collection suite, is the ideal way to collect a semen sample for testing or processing (without the use of any lubricants); other forms of collection may be allowed, following a consultation with the physician or provider.
- Make sure the genital area is clean and most importantly the glans (head) of the penis, as any foreign particulate may render the test invalid or halt any processing for subsequent inseminations.
- The use of any lubricants (water, soap, gels of any sort) is undeniably prohibited, as it may be harmful to the sperm and semen quality.
- The sample needs to be collected into a sterile specimen container; this can be provided by DIRM or purchased from a local pharmacy.
- It’s important that the entire sample is collected in the container; otherwise the quality/quantity may be uncharacteristic. Please note/notify the laboratory staff should this occur.
- After the sample is collected, make sure the container’s exterior is clean, and make sure the lid of the container is properly secured to prevent spillage.
- The container needs to be accurately labeled prior to presentation to the laboratory staff. Provide, in a legible manner, your full name, partner’s full name (if applicable), date and time of collection, and date of birth (DOB).
- Intercourse (following a physician/provider consult)
- Collection by intercourse requires more supplies: sterile specimen container, sterile condom or Male Factor Pak (MFP). While the specimen container can be provided free of charge, the semen collection device will have to be purchased, and is always available at the front desk.
- After ejaculation, carefully remove the MFP, and secure the top with the provided closure device, and then place the secured MFP in the provided container, secure lid and label as 2(f)
- Samples need to be presented to the lab in our office within 60 minutes of the collection time.
- The temperature of a sample needs to be maintained as close to body temperature as possible, as drastic temperature changes can be very harmful to sperm and render the sample unusable. You can achieve this by placing the container in a coat pocket or under your shirt, use of any heater is forbidden.
Results will be available approximately 7-10 days after collection. Please schedule a consultation to review the finding with your physician.
DIRM is truly a place where dreams, through science, become reality.