Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 19 February 2021

The Andrology Department provides a service for both fertility and post vasectomy analysis. A request for fertility analysis can come from a GP or the Fertility Clinic at Dorset County Hospital. 

Semen delivery appointment system

Please arrange an appointment with the laboratory at least two weeks in advance for all semen sample deliveries.

Appointments can be arranged by calling the laboratory on 01305 254308 and speaking to a member of laboratory staff who will be able to allocate you a delivery time during the available laboratory opening hours which are 8am – 12.30pm Monday to Thursday, excluding Bank Holidays.

Unfortunately specimens cannot be accepted unless an appointment is made as an approved specimen container must be distributed to the patient via the GP surgery and questionnaire must be completed on specimen drop off; any specimens received without an appointment will be rejected and a repeat sample requested.

Specimen production and collection

Unfortunately there are no facilities at Dorset County Hospital for specimen production; please produce all specimens at home before travelling to the hospital; please be aware that it is a criminal act to produce semen in a public place.

Semen specimens should be produced after a period of sexual abstinence of at least two days (48 hours), but no longer than seven days. You should not have passed urine during the previous hour.

The specimen must be obtained by masturbation (manual hand stimulation) directly into the approved specimen pot distributed from the laboratory. Patients with difficulties producing semen in this manner are advised to contact the laboratory to discuss suitable alternatives.

Condoms must not be used for collection. They contain substances which will kill the sperm. Please do not use any gels, lubricants or oils, as this will also affect the results. Withdrawal method (coitus interruptus) is also not advised for collecting the specimen.

It is essential that the whole ejaculate (discharge of semen) is collected, as the first part is often the richest in sperm numbers. Laboratory staff will ask you to confirm if any of the ejaculate was not collected.

Please use the sterile pot provided for you (60ml MSL, CE marked specimen pot certified as being non-cytotoxic to sperm). No other specimen pot will be accepted by the laboratory.

Do not open the pot until you are ready to produce the specimen and seal the pot immediately after specimen collection with the lid; making sure that the lid is on tightly.

Ensure your name, date of birth plus date and time of specimen production is written on the pot label and place the pot into the sealable bag provided.

Please ensure that your name, date of birth and address on the request form are correct and add the date and time of specimen production in the relevant box.

Delivery of the specimen and acceptance criteria

Please deliver the specimen and request form at your appointed time to the pathology laboratory, address below. This must be within 60 minutes of production and must be kept at body temperature during transportation e.g. in a trouser pocket. Specimens arriving through the hospital transport will not be analysed.

Andrology Department
Pathology Department (Level 3)
North Wing Entrance One
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Williams Avenue

On arrival at the Pathology Department, please ring intercom 9 to speak to the secretarial staff who will notify the Andrology Department immediately.

A member of laboratory staff will collect the specimen from you and ask you to complete a short questionnaire to aid the specimen analysis. Should you have any problems or concerns in answering these questions, the member of staff will be happy to advise you in a private area of the laboratory.

You must hand your specimen directly to a member of the andrology staff. Do not leave it without seeing someone first. 

Unlabelled specimens, those without a request form and those delivered outside of laboratory opening hours will not be processed, requiring the specimen to be repeated.

Information for patients undergoing post vasectomy analysis

Specimens for post vasectomy analysis are to be produced a minimum of 16 weeks after the vasectomy procedure; two consecutive negative tests must be submitted before a patient is released from analysis.

Please note that there must be two to four weeks gap between each consecutive specimen submission to allow the spermatozoa to clear from the body. Any samples being submitted more frequently than every two weeks may not be processed by the laboratory

Semen analysis instruction sheet

A copy of the Semen Analysis Instructions for Fertility and Post Vasectomy Specimens sheet is included in the specimen pack sent to all patients via their GP surgery prior to semen specimen submission; it is the responsibility of the requesting clinician to provide the patient with a specimen request form; either a printed ICE form using the codes PVAX for post vasectomy or INFX for infertility samples (preferred method) or hand written histology request form.  

If specimens are requested on ICE there is an option to print this patient information sheet.

Additional information

Laboratory staff are available to advise patients on specimen production and delivery on 01305 254308. The results for fertility analysis and post vasectomy analysis will not be given to patients directly from the laboratory. All patients must make an appointment with the GP or consultant who requested the test in order to obtain results and further advice.

All andrology specimens will be reported within seven working days from receipt.