How It Is Done
You will need to produce a semen sample, usually by ejaculating into a clean sample cup. You can do this in a private room or in a bathroom at your doctor's office or clinic. If you live close to your doctor's office or clinic, you may be able to collect the semen sample at home and then transport it to the office or clinic for testing.
- The most common way to collect semen is by masturbation, directing the semen into a clean sample cup. Do not use a lubricant.
- You can collect a semen sample during sex by withdrawing your penis from your partner just before ejaculating (coitus interruptus). You then ejaculate into a clean sample cup. This method can be used after a vasectomy to test for the presence of sperm, but other methods will likely be recommended if you are testing for infertility.
- You can also collect a semen sample during sex by using a condom. If you use a regular condom, you will need to wash it thoroughly before using it to remove any powder or lubricant on it that might kill sperm. You may also be given a special condom that does not contain any substance that kills sperm (spermicide). After you have ejaculated, carefully remove the condom from your penis. Tie a knot in the open end of the condom and place it in a container that can be sealed in case the condom leaks or breaks.
If any of these methods are against your beliefs, talk with your doctor about different methods of collection.
If you collect the semen sample at home, the sample must be received at the laboratory or clinic within 1 hour. Keep the sample out of direct sunlight and do not allow it to get cold or hot. If it is a cold day, carry the semen sample container against your body to keep it as close to body temperature as possible. Do not refrigerate the semen sample.
Since semen samples may vary from day to day, 2 or 3 different samples may be evaluated within a 3-month period for accurate testing.
A semen analysis to test the effectiveness of a vasectomy is usually done 6 weeks after the vasectomy.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 1, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology