Collection of semen


1.  Collection of semen should follow a period of abstinence from sexual intercourse or ejaculatory activity for a period of 48-72 hours and no longer than 5 days.

2.  The best method for collection of seminal fluid is masturbation directly into a clean dry glass or plastic container. Use of soft plastic container may reduce viability and motility. Plastic containers used for urine cultures are satisfactory. Avoid using any lubricant. Patient’s name and time of collection should be written on container.

3.  Collection in condoms is not acceptable method due to the presence of toxic residues and spermicidal lubricants.

4.  Care must be taken to include the entire specimen. Loss of the first portion of ejaculate may result in a decreased sperm count because this fraction normally contains the highest concentration of spermatozoa. Therefore, collection by interrupted coitus is least satisfactory as sperm rich portion of seminal fluid may be lost.

5.  Specimens should be transported at body temperature. This can be accomplished by carrying the sample in an inside pocket or by holding it against the body with undergarments. This is to avoid any temperature extremes in transportation. Samples need to be at the laboratory as soon as 1 hour after collection for analysis.

6.  It is advisable for the patient to urinate immediately prior to the collection in order to cleanse the urethra as much as possible.

7.  Specimen must be semen, not urine. Samples contaminated with urine can not be analyzed accurately and will be rejected.

8.  Contact your physician for any questions about sample collection.

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