Semen Analysis Specimens - FAQ

How do I bring the semen sample to the lab?

  • Please collect your specimen at home in a sterile container from your doctor. There are no facilities on site at Capital Health for specimen collection. Make sure the lid is secure on the container. Ensure that the requisition and the specimen container are properly labeled

Where do I deliver my specimen?

  • Specimens may be delivered to 5788 University Avenue, DJ MacKenzie Building at the Victoria General Site.  Deliver your specimen to the staff at the Stat window of Central Accessioning on the first floor. Ensure that your specimen is accepted by staff before leaving

Why can I only deliver my specimen to the lab between the hours of 8:00am and 12:00pm?

  • The lab receives semen samples from 8:00am to 12:00pm because it takes the rest of the day to process and analyze those samples

Why do I need to keep the specimen warm until delivered?

  • Sperm are temperature sensitive. Place specimen container against your body to keep as close to your body temperature as possible to ensure the most accurate results (under the arm is recommended)

Why do I need to deliver the specimen to the lab within an hour of collection?

  • Semen samples are time sensitive and should be processed as soon as possible after collection. After one hour some of the results may not be reliable.  Specimens collected more than an hour before delivery to the lab may be rejected and a repeat sample may be necessary

Why can’t I use a condom to collect the specimen, then deposit into a sterile container?

  • Most condoms contain spermicide or lubricants which are toxic to sperm. Collection of the specimen into a condom also decreases the volume of the specimen needed for analysis. If you must use a condom due to cultural or religious beliefs, there are special condoms available specifically for semen collection. Talk to your doctor

Why can’t I have intercourse or ejaculate for three days before my test?

  • Shortened abstinence (less than three days) can cause a lowered sperm count but raised motility. Prolonged abstinence (more than seven days) can cause a raised sperm count but lowered motility. Abstinence for three days before collecting a semen sample is considered optimal for semen analysis

Why do I have to fill out all of the questions on the Semen Analysis Request Form?

  • The information asked on the Semen Analysis Request Form is all relevant to your test. Leaving out information can cause a delay in processing and/or inaccurate test results and/or specimen rejection

What if the requisition is not fully filled out?

  • You may be required to stay and fill out the requisition properly

What if there are not two unique identifiers on the requisition and the specimen container?

  • Your specimen may be rejected if it is not labeled properly

What is a unique identifier?

  • Unique identifiers include first and last name as well as health card number, military number, RCMP number, or CH medical record number. Date of birth does not qualify as a unique identifier

What happens if my specimen is rejected?

  • Specimens that are rejected are to be repeated three days after last ejaculation

When will my results be ready and how do I get them?

  • Your results will be ready in approximately one working week. Please call your physician for your results

If you have any further questions about your semen analysis test please contact your physician.