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Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need to book an appointment for a semen analysis or post vasectomy analysis?

No. Once you have a completed referral card and sterile pot from your GP, you must produce the sample at home and bring it to the Andology lab within one hour. The sample will only be accepted during opening hours. Samples for post vasectomy semen analysis are not critical time wise. It is however recommended that samples should be examined within 4 hours of production.

What if I live further than an hour away?

The hour guideline is there to produce optimal and accurate results of the semen analysis. If you are bringing in a sample for a post vasectomy semen analysis you should bring the sample within approximately 4 hours.

A room is available for booking should patients be unable to deliver a fertility sample within an hour. The room can be booked by calling The Hull IVF Unit. Contact Us

How long will my results take to come back?

Results can only be given by the referring GP/consultant and will not be given by the Andrology department. You should allow at least a week for the results to be put on the electronic system. Results may take longer if the GP requires a paper copy.

Why do I need to abstain from intercourse?

Abstinence from sexual activity should occur for 2 days prior to the analysis, but not longer than 7 days. Research has shown that between 2 and 7 days gives an overall optimal value for sperm count and motility parameters combined.

I have had a semen analysis, why do I need a repeat?

 

There are several reasons a repeat may be required:

  • Sample arrived outside of laboratory hours and could not be processed.
  • Sample leaked from pot and not suitable for analysis.
  • Sample arrived at unit greater than 90 minutes after production.
  • Confirmation of a normal semen analysis
  • The analysis has shown a low/unexpected result.

 

A repeat sample may be required and show a different result:

Every measurement will be subject to a margin of doubt. For example, a patient may attend for semen analysis and have a sperm concentration of 15 M/ml and then attend for a repeat evaluation and attain a result of 17 M/ml. Approximately, a 10% difference may be expected when comparing two successive semen evaluations for concentration or motility.

I have had a vasectomy reversal and have been asked to book and appointment for semen analysis? Why can’t I drop the sample off in the normal opening hours?

Routinely an extra specialised test (anti-sperm antibody test) will be requested if you have recently undergone a reversal. This will look to see if your semen sample has the presence of antibodies. Antibodies can cause problems with the sperm motility and their fertilisation capacity after a certain amount of time. For this test it is essential that the sample is examined quickly after production. We therefore ask you to book an appointment (usually on a Thursday morning) to produce the sample at the unit, allowing rapid evaluation.

I have completed my two post vasectomy analyses, why do I need a repeat?

It is recommended that at least two consecutive sperm free ejaculates must be seen before extra contraception can be dispensed with. It is the consultant’s responsibility to communicate the results to their patients and advise when to discontinue contraception.

I have had a vasectomy, why do I have to wait 16 weeks before bringing in a sample for analysis?

It is very important to follow instructions and recommendations. If you bring in a sample earlier than the 16 week guideline it is likely to provide inconclusive results and lead to the need for extra samples for assessment.

I have been informed there was a problem with my semen analysis and have been referred to a specialist. What does this mean?

There are a number of reasons you may have been referred elsewhere and does not necessarily mean you can not have children:

  • If you have a low sperm count or associated problems you may be referred to an urologist. An urologist will examine you and take blood tests to see if there is anything that can be done to improve your semen sample. In a small number of cases it is found that there is an absence of sperm. An urologist can sometimes suggest surgical procedures to obtain sperm.
  • In some cases where you and your partner have been having fertility tests, you may both be referred to the subfertility clinic/ IVF unit for further investigations/care.

 

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