Semen Sample Collection
Because of the fluctuations in semen quality observed during different times, the male partner has to produce at least 2 semen samples for analysis 1 to 1.5 months apart. This is done as part of the fertility evaluation process described in Step I.
Once the cause of infertility has been identified and the most suitable assisted reproductive technique has been selected, the male partner has to produce another semen sample which
is used for the in-vitro fertilization procedure itself rather than for analysis. The semen sample is preferably collected on the day of the egg retrieval procedure (Step III) but it can also be collected at an earlier date and frozen until the day of the retrieval.
Semen sample collection usually takes place in a special room at the clinic, set aside for that purpose. The semen sample is normally produced by masturbation or interrupted intercourse, although it can also be produced by surgical sperm retrieval or electroejaculation if necessary.
It is generally recommended to abstain from ejaculation for at least 2 but no more than 5 days before producing the sample. The sample has to be collected into a sterile, non-toxic container, provided by the clinic. It is possible to produce a semen sample at home and then bring it to the clinic within 45 minutes of its production. Although it is generally not advisable due to the lack of controlled conditions outside the clinic and the time it takes to transport the sample, producing a semen sample at home is an option for men who feel very uncomfortable performing “on demand” and under pressure.