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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Urology

Semen Analysis

A semen analysis is a central component of laboratory testing in the evaluation of an infertile man. A specimen is obtained, usually by masturbation. Collection of the entire specimen is important for accurate diagnosis, and a period of 48-72 hours of abstinence should precede the collection. Although special containers are available for home collection, prompt return of the specimen to the laboratory (within one hour) is mandatory.

The semen specimen is examined under a microscope to determine the concentration, motility (movement) and morphology (appearance and shape) of the sperm.

The information below lists generally accepted minimum standards for adequate semen. However, these values are not the absolute values needed to achieve a pregnancy but rather statistical limits below which male infertility is more likely to be a problem. Because significant variations in one or several semen parameters from one specimen to another are not uncommon, at least two semen specimens should be analyzed. Adherence to strict collection techniques and abstinence periods is crucial to minimize variation.

Minimal Standards of Adequacy

On at least two occasions:

  • Ejaculate volume 1.5-5.0 cc
  • Sperm density >20 million/cc
  • Motility >60%
  • Forward Progression >2 (scale 1-4)
  • Morphology >60% normal AND
  • No significant sperm agglutination
  • No significant pyospermia
  • No hyperviscosity

Instructions

Semen analyses are performed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Dr. Lipshultz's clinical office located at O'Quinn Medical Tower at St. Luke's, 6624 Fannin St., Suite 1700.

Clean containers are required for collection of semen and can be obtained from our office or from your private physician. Alternatively, a glass jar with a screw-on lid that has been thoroughly washed can be used.

The patient must abstain from ejaculation for 2-3 days prior to collection of the sample. Longer abstinence may impair the semen quality. The sample may be caught in the container to give accurate results. Regular condoms cannot be used, but special condoms for the purpose of seminal fluid collection are available if needed.

Payment is due at the time services are rendered.

Patients will be asked to fill out a form when the specimen is delivered. Information needed includes: patient's name, date, and time of collection, doctor requesting test, Social Security number, and days of abstinence prior to specimen collection.

The sample should be kept at body temperature. Do not heat or refrigerate the sample. If collected outside our office, the sample may be transported in a pocket to keep it at body temperature.

Results from a regular semen analysis will be faxed or mailed to your physician's office 24-48 hours after the specimen is received. All other tests require a period of 10 working days and re­quire an appointment with Dr. Lipshultz for a more detailed interpretation and treatment plan. If you were sent by your doctor and you are not expected to see Dr. Lipshultz, you need to call the office of your referring physician for the results.

All sperm washes are done by appointment only on Monday through Friday. Washes must be scheduled between 9 and 11 a.m. or 1 and 4 p.m. Under no circumstances will washes be accepted before 9 a.m. on either week days or weekends.

On weekends and on Baylor holidays, a technologist is on-call to perform washes for an additional fee. These washes are also done by appointment only and must be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. by calling 713-798-4026, before 4 p.m. on the pre­ceding Friday.

Important: Bring specimen within two hours after collection.