Although you may already have a recent semen analysis report available, we require that an IVF semen analysis be performed at Georgia Reproductive Specialists in order to insure the best possible number of fertilized eggs. GRS operates andrology and endocrinology laboratories to support its assisted reproductive technologies.
How To Schedule an Appointment
Call (404) 843-2229 (between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) to make an appointment in either the Atlanta or Alpharetta office.
What to Expect During Your Appointment:
Requirements for Producing a Specimen at Home for Drop Off at the Laboratory
- Step 1 When you arrive you will be asked to sign in at the front desk. Tell the receptionist that you have an appointment for a semen analysis. You will be required to pay for semen analysis at the time of the visit if your insurance does not cover the service.
- Step 2 You will be called to come back to the lab area where you will be shown into one of the specimen collection rooms.
- Step 3 You will then be provided with additional instructions on specimen collection. The specimen collection rooms are set up to provide you a private and comfortable environment in which to produce the specimen.
- Step 4 After you have provided the specimen, please label the specimen. Be sure to indicate the full name of your wife, and the time you have completed collection (not the time you entered the collection room). If a physician outside our practice has referred you, the results will be provided to your physician for interpretation.
- Step 5 Notify the nurse that you have completed the sample.
We prefer that the specimen be collected at GRS; however, if this is uncomfortable or inconvenient for you it may be acceptable for you to collect the specimen at another location and deliver it to the laboratory. In order to do this you must adhere to the following guidelines:
Requirements For Proper Collection of a Specimen
- Deliver the specimen at your appointment time. Let the scheduler know that you will drop off the specimen at the time of your appointment so the laboratory will be prepared to perform the analysis immediately.
- Deliver the specimen within one hour of ejaculation (consider traffic and travel distance).
- You must have a suitable sterile specimen container (sterile and non-toxic to sperm). You or your spouse or partner may pick up a specimen container from the laboratory ahead of time, or you can purchase a sterile specimen cup (like the ones used for urine specimens) from a pharmacy.
- You must follow the instructions bellow to ensure that the specimen does not become contaminated, which could yield incorrect results.
- Label the specimen cup with your name and place the sealed specimen cup in a paper bag. Protect the specimen from extremes in temperature and from sunlight during transport. It is best to keep the specimen at 75° to 85°F during transport.
Refrain from ejaculation for 2 to 4 days before producing the specimen for analysis. Longer or shorter periods of abstinence will result in specimens that yield incorrect indications and are not acceptable for analysis.
The semen specimen should be produced by masturbation. Wash your genitals and hands to minimize the chance of contamination of the specimen. Do not use lubricants or saliva when masturbating since potential toxicity to the sperm can adversely influence the results. Collect the ejaculate directly into the specimen cup and replace the lid immediately to prevent contamination. Do not produce the specimen by coitus interruptus (having intercourse and withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation) or by oral sex. Both activities can lead to a suboptimal specimen, which may yield falsely abnormal semen analysis results.
Do not collect the specimen with a regular condom since they contain chemicals that are toxic to sperm. If masturbation is absolutely unacceptable to you, please obtain a special semen collection device from GRS. These devices consist of a special non-toxic condom and a test tube for transporting the semen to the laboratory. There is also a small funnel to use in transferring the semen from the condom into the test tube and detailed instructions on how to use the device. You and your spouse or partner may use this device in the specimen collection room at GRS if this is convenient for you.
Try not to sit in hot tubs or spas during the three months before the treatment cycle.
Use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or chewing tobacco should be kept to an absolute minimum during the three months before the treatment cycle. In some cases, the treatment may need to be postponed if a herpes lesion is present at the time of semen collection.
If you have a fever of 101°F or higher within three months before the treatment cycle, sperm quality may be adversely affected. The sperm count and motility may appear normal, but fertilization may not occur. If you become sick, please take your temperature morning and night and take Tylenol every four hours to keep your temperature down. Report the fever to your nurse.
IVF Semen Analysis
This test provides an indication of how your semen compares with the general population. The following parameters are measured in a semen analysis: volume and consistency of semen, sperm count, percentage of sperm that are progressively motile (moving in a straight line), the strict morphology (structural appearance) of the sperm and sperm survival. A semen analysis does not diagnose fertility or infertility but provides a relative measure of semen quality compared to the general population of men. It can suggest possible conditions associated with reduced fertilization at IVF and indicate the need for ICSI.
Reporting Test Results
Allow at least seven days for your physician to receive and review your test result. The results will be available through the LabCalls system and you will receive instructions on retrieving the results at your appointment.
Sperm can be frozen and stored for future use in either artificial insemination or IVF. Arrangements for this are made with Xytex, a local sperm bank. This frozen sperm can be used as a backup should future ability to produce viable sperm be diminished. Some reasons for considering sperm cryopreservation include the following: as a precaution when undergoing cancer therapy or prior to a vasectomy if there is a possibility that you may want to have children in the future. Furthermore, during vasectomy or testicular biopsy, it is wise to freeze a specimen of the sperm that is available at the time of the procedure to avoid the potential need for a second surgery. Specimens obtained during surgery will contain low numbers of sperm and can be used only in conjunction with IVF with ICSI.
How Many Ejaculate Specimens Should be Frozen?
This is decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on the reason for freezing the semen and the semen quality. If semen quality is poor, it is likely that the frozen specimen can be used only in IVF. When this is the case, a single ejaculate is usually as good as several ejaculates since very few sperm are needed for IVF. A single specimen can be frozen in multiple vials for use in multiple IVF attempts. If semen quality is very good and a single ejaculate produces enough sperm for several inseminations, then freezing several ejaculates is a wise option. Although freezing several ejaculates costs more initially, the use of the frozen specimen in artificial insemination is much less expensive, less invasive and has far fewer risks associated with it than the use of IVF.
Before semen can be frozen, a consent agreement must be completed. The consent agreement outlines the responsibilities of the laboratory and of you in the process of maintaining the frozen specimen(s). Specimen collection requirements are the same as described above, with special attention to collecting a clean specimen free of contamination.