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Collecting a Sperm Sample

1. Refrain from any sexual activity (including masturbation) for at least 2 days and no more than 10 days. Longer or shorter periods of abstinence may result in a lower sperm count or decreased sperm motility.

2. A private room is available for semen collection within close proximity of our laboratory and is recommended for collection.

3. The semen specimen should be obtained by masturbation. Alternate methods may be discussed but are not recommended. Do not use any lubricant, including saliva, when collecting semen. Do not collect the specimen in a condom as these contain spermicidal agents, which will alter the results of the analysis. If a condom must be used, the laboratory will provide a special semen collection condom.

4. The specimen should be collected in a container provided by the ART lab. Be sure hands and penis are cleaned prior to collection. Avoid touching the inside of the cup. If any semen is spilled, DO NOT attempt to transfer it to the cup. Inform the lab personnel about the spill.

5. If the specimen was obtained outside of the collection room, bring the specimen to the laboratory within one hour after ejaculation. Do not expose the specimen to extremes of temperature. Place specimen container upright in a plastic bag, with the lid securely tightened, and keep specimen close to body temperature by transporting close to the body. The specimen should not be placed in a purse, pocket, or briefcase. Sperm do not have a long life outside of the body and at different temperatures. Delays in delivering semen and exposure to various temperatures will results in lower overall motile sperm count and poor semen cryopreservation.

6. Semen older than 1 hour will not be accepted for cryopreservation.

7. Please label the specimen collection container with the self-adhesive label printed with your name and registration number.


a. container is cracked, broken or leaking
b. container not approved by the ART lab
c. container is hot or cold to the touch
d. specimen collected by use of condom not approved by the ART lab
e. specimen brought in by unscheduled walk-in appointments.

9. One business day following the collection we will contact you about the quality and quantity of sperm in the test vial. Based on this information, we will make recommendations about the need for additional collections. We will also provide your primary oncologist with our recommendations, so medical treatment schedules can be made.

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