Semen analysis is the primary assessment tool for male fertility potential. The accuracy of the result is dependent on following accredited methods of analysis that are regularly audited and subject to quality control. Variations in laboratory techniques significantly influence the reliability of the results of semen analysis. This may lead to a longer process for investigating male infertility, and possibly to inappropriate treatment.
- QUALITY MEASURES
Evidence of a quality assurance programme to ensure that services analysing semen samples use methods and reference values in accordance with the 2010 World Health Organization laboratory manual.
- SAMPLE COLLECTION
- The sample should be collected in a private room near the laboratory, in order to limit the exposure of the semen to fluctuations in temperature and to control the time between collection and analysis
- The sample should be collected after a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 7 days of sexual abstinence. If additional samples are required, the number of days of sexual abstinence should be as constant as possible at each visit
- The man should be given clear written and spoken instructions concerning the collection of the semen sample. These should emphasize that the semen sample needs to be complete and that the man should report any loss of any fraction of the sample.