Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 21 March 2024

The Andrology Department provides a service for both fertility and post vasectomy semen analysis. This page has been written to guide patients who have been asked to submit specimens for the following semen analysis samples:

Fertility Analysis - For fertility investigations. Normally requested by your GP or the Fertility Clinic at Dorset County Hospital.

Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis - To check to ensure your vasectomy has been successful. Normally requested by the clinician who performed your vasectomy surgical procedure.

Post vasectomy specimens must be produced a minimum of 12 weeks after the vasectomy procedure and after a minimum of 20 ejaculations.

Assessment of a single negative post vasectomy specimen is acceptable to confirm vasectomy success. A second specimen may be required if the first is positive; this must be discussed with the clinician managing your post vasectomy care before making an appointment for the second specimen.

Blood in Semen - an appointment for delivery is not necessary; these specimens can be delivered during the laboratory working hours indicated below.

Semen delivery appointment system

Before calling the laboratory to make your appointment, please ensure that your clinician has provided you with an andrology test request form (ICE request form).

Please arrange an appointment with the laboratory at least two weeks in advance for fertility and post vasectomy semen specimen deliveries. Please bear in mind that during busy periods there may be a waiting time of up to 8 weeks for an appointment.

Please phone the laboratory on 01305 254308 between the hours of 1pm and 3.30pm, Monday – Thursday and speak to a member of laboratory staff who will discuss delivery guidance with you and then be able to allocate you a delivery appointment during the available Andrology clinic hours:

8.15am – 12.15pm, Monday – Thursday (closed Fridays and Bank Holidays)

The laboratory staff will then send a specimen pack to your GP surgery containing an information sheet, a pre-approved specimen pot and details of your delivery appointment.  

Specimen production and collection

Use approved pots

The laboratory will only accept specimen pots that have been approved by the Andrology Service at Dorset County Hospital.

These are distinctive white-topped, wide-mouth 60ml pots that have a label affixed identifying the specimen pot as a ‘Dorset County Hospital Semen Specimen Pot,’ along with a box which details the Lot no/expiry and pot weight.

If you are unsure as to whether you have the correct pot, please call the lab on 01305 254308.

Store the specimen pot in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight. Do not open the pot until you are ready to produce the specimen and carefully seal the pot immediately after specimen collection with the lid, ensuring that the lid is on tightly.

Produce the specimen at home

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.

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, gels, lubricants or oils must not be used as they may contain substances which will kill the sperm. The 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.

Ensure your name, date of birth plus date and time of specimen production is written on the specimen pot and request form. Please check that all personal information on the request form is correct.

Delivery of the specimen to the laboratory

Specimens must be delivered to the laboratory within 50 minutes of production.

Please remember to bring your request form. This is required to process the specimen.

Please only use the DCH Andrology Service specimen pot, and transport this to the laboratory in the clear specimen bag provided.

Keep the specimen close to body temperature during transportation (e.g put it in a pocket close to your body).

Delivery appointments are held at:

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

To ensure that you can deliver the specimen to the lab within 50 minutes, we recommend you are dropped off at North Wing Main Entrance 1 to avoid parking delays. A test run to ensure delivery within 50 minutes is also recommended.

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.

You must hand your specimen directly to a member of the Andrology staff so we can check that all specimen collection requirements have been met.

Please note that specimens delivered outside of clinic times, without an appointment, or specimens left at specimen reception without seeing a member of Andrology Staff will not be processed.

Reporting of results

All andrology results will be reported within seven working days from receipt and will be available to the requesting clinician electronically on ICE; please note, paper copies are no longer sent unless specifically requested. If results are requested over the phone, the caller's identity must be confirmed before any results are provided.

Results for fertility analysis and post vasectomy analysis will not be given to patients directly from the laboratory; patients must make an appointment with the GP/consultant who requested the test to obtain results and further advice.


A copy of the instructions for semen analysis is included in the specimen pack sent to all patients via their GP surgery prior to semen specimen submission. If specimens are requested through the ICE system, there is an option to print this patient information sheet. 

It is the responsibility of the requesting clinician to provide the patient with a specimen request form - either a printed ICE form (preferred method) or handwritten Histology request form. Andrology requests can be found within the Cytology ICE request menu.

Further information

Laboratory staff are available to book delivery appointments, distribute specimen packs and advise patients on specimen production and delivery on the Andrology Department telephone number: 01305 254308.