Institute for Human Reproduction
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IHR Blog

IHR Blog

Semen Analysis

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What is a semen analysis?

A semen analysis is recommended for couples who are having difficulty conceiving and/or with recurrent miscarriage.  The sample is evaluated for the number of sperm, their motility and their shape.  Abnormalities in any of these can affect reproductive health.  Because sperm are continuously being produced, abnormal samples may require re-testing to confirm findings.

This test requires an actual appointment at the Chicago office location. 

The following instructions are recommended

  • A semen specimen is best produced by masturbation following a two to five day period of sexual abstinence.

  • Avoid soaps, detergents, creams or lubricants to aid in specimen collection.  These agents can cause damage to the sperm.

  • Collect the entire specimen in the sterile container.  If there is any spillage, let the lab know if it occurred toward the beginning or end of the specimen collection.

  • Most importantly, please relax!  If there are any problems with the collection process, please let us know.

If you require to produce a sperm sample at an outside facility

  • an appointment is still required to ensure lab staff will be available to process the specimen. 

  • You will need to obtain a sterile container and materials, from our office, prior to your appointment. 

  • On day of appointment, the specimen should be delivered to our office within an hour of collection.  Keep the specimen as close to body temperature as possible during transportation.

  • Do not expose the specimen to hot or cold extremes.