The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Semen Analysis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Accurate semen analysis results depend on appropriate sample collection. Patients must receive detailed directions for proper specimen collection and transport. Directions should be in writing.
Instructions for collections
  • The period of abstinence from ejaculation prior to collection should be at least two days but no more than seven days.
  • Avoid the use of lubricants or condoms.*
  • The entire specimen must be collected.**
  • The sample should be collected in the container supplied by the physician's office or laboratory.***
*Condoms are toxic to sperm, unless a specialized medically approved non-toxic condom is used. Collection in a condom may also cause inaccurate semen volume measurement.
**The first portion of the ejaculate is rich in sperm whereas the later portions of the ejaculated specimen are mainly seminal vesicular fluid. If the first portion is lost, the semen analysis results will be greatly affected.
***The container should be a clean, wide-mouthed glass or plastic container that has been confirmed to be non-toxic to sperm.