Sample requirements

Sample Requirements

  • A freshly produced semen sample in a 'Sarstedt' collection pot.
  • NB The Department reserves the right to discard specimens as unsuitable if they are received in inappropriate containers or in an unsafe condition.

Instructions for collection of semen samples

  • Your doctor will advise you how to collect the sample.
  • There are NO facilities for the collection of semen samples within the hospital; samples must be collected at home and delivered to the specified location at Barnet Hospital (you will be informed as to where to bring the sample at the time of booking).
  • Samples MUST be brought to the hospital within ONE HOUR of production, and the container kept in a pocket close to the body so is kept warm.
  • You must not have had sex or masturbated for 48 hours before collecting the sample; and should not have had an abstinence period of longer than seven days.
  • First wash your hands and genitals with water only and dry thoroughly.
  • Please do not use any gels, lubricants or oils, as this will affect the results.
  • Collect the sample by masturbation - that is manual stimulation - collecting the entire specimen directly into the container.
  • Evidence shows that semen parameters are optimised if you take at least 10 – 15 minutes to produce the sample.
  • It is essential that the whole ejaculate (discharge of semen) is collected, as the first part is often the richest in sperm numbers. Please notify us if you think that some of it has been lost.
  • Rubber sheaths (condoms) must NOT be used for collection. They contain substances which will kill the sperm.
  • Withdrawal (coitus interruptus) is not advised for collecting the sample.

The container

  • Please use the sterile container provided for you (100 ml Sarstedt collection pot certified as being non-cytotoxic to sperm). No other sample container is acceptable.
  • Do not open the container until you are ready to produce the sample.
  • Seal the container immediately after sample collection with the lid; make sure that the lid is on tightly.
  • Ensure your name, date of birth plus date and time of sample production is written on the container label.
  • Place in the sealable bag provided.
  • Please ensure that your name, date of birth, and address on the request form are correct. Please add the date and time of sample production and number of days of abstinence. The name and address of your doctor should also be stated.

Delivery of the sample

  • Please deliver the specimen and request form at the appointed time and to the specific location you have been told to report to.
  • You MUST hand your sample directly to a member of the reception staff, DO NOT leave it without seeing someone first. You will be required to fill out and sign a short form regarding timings of the sample.
  • Unlabelled samples will NOT be processed.