Fertility Program: Andrology Laboratory Services

Our on-site Andrology Laboratory offers full service for the evaluation of semen specimens. Analyses are performed by World Health Organization standards and include motility and morphology assessment. Every effort is made to answer all questions about semen analyses and the interpretation of the report. We also offer information and assistance for the selection, shipping and storage of donor semen for insemination.

There are various levels of evaluations offered from a simple wash to a complete semen analysis.

  • Sperm washing for intrauterine insemination (IUI)
  • Complete semen analysis
  • Quantitative fructose
  • Antisperm antibody testing
  • Semen freezing prior to vasectomy or cancer treatment

The specimen collection will need to be coordinated through the clinic. All of the ejaculate should be collected, however, if the cup is missed do not attempt to put the wayward sperm into the cup. The results are more accurate if all of the specimen is collected. Specimens collected at home should be kept at room temperature and delivered within 30 minutes. Two to five days of abstinence prior to collection is necessary.

Sperm washing for intrauterine insemination (IUI)

The normal and motile sperm for IUI are separated by the discontinuous density gradient and followed by repeated washing of the final suspension. Finally, the sperm pellet is mixed with a minute quantity of culture media, and then inseminated into the uterus using a special sterile catheter.

Complete semen analysis

Semen analysis evaluates the ejaculated semen specimen and looks at several parameters that may influence fertility: viscosity, morphology and appearance.

Quantitative fructose

This test detects the presence of fructose in semen. Fructose is a marker for seminal vesicle function. Fructose is present in semen except when the ejaculatory ducts are obstructed or congenitally absent.

Antisperm antibody testing

This assay may detect sperm directed antibodies that could interfere with sperm transport or sperm-egg fusion. IgA and IgG antibodies are measured. IgM antibodies are not present in the reproductive tract. This test is useful in cases of idiopathic infertility, as well as absence reversal or trauma/surgery in the groin area in the male partner.

Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation is a technique whereby the lab freezes sperm for future use. The potential utility of cryopreservation vary with the diverse situations encountered in our clinic practice. Patients undergoing fertility treatment who face difficulties with scheduling and out of town travel may find this useful as a backup specimen, or to allow their partners to continue treatment in their absence. Patients with poor results on their semen studies may also benefit from having specimens in reserve.

Another common use of cryopreservation is for men who are undergoing treatment for tumors requiring surgical removal of the testis, radiation to the groin or chemotherapy. In this situation, having a cryopreserved specimen gives the individual an option for future inseminations using their stored sperm.

What you need to know about cryopreservation

  • You will need to schedule an appointment to have your specimen collected.
  • Prior to collecting, you will need to discuss the process with someone in the division.
  • Wright State Physicians agrees to be the custodian of the specimen. We cannot guarantee fertilization or viability of the sperm after thawing.
  • Though we feel there are no significant birth defects associated with frozen sperm, there can be no guarantee.
  • The lab is not responsible for circumstances beyond their control (electrical failure, acts of nature such as hurricanes, equipment failure, etc.).
  • Your fees are your responsibility and are due at the time of collection and yearly every July (These points are covered in more detail on the consent form which will be duplicated and given to you).
  • The number of collections will vary with your situation, results and desires.
  • Each collection generally yields one to four vials.
  • Each collection will also result in a "post-thaw" vial which is used to assess the quality of that batch when it is thawed.
  • Each vial, assuming adequate results upon thawing, can be used for insemination.
  • There is no magic number of vials to collect as each situation will vary. This can be discussed in more detail with the clinic provider. The specimen will be stored as long as you like and can be transferred to another facility in the future (usually if people have moved from the area and would not be able to return to Wright Stat Physicians).
  • Radiation and chemotherapy may reduce or eliminate sperm. Different agents and targets of radiation will vary this impact. It may be possible that your sperm counts return to normal after treatment, however, this will not be known until it is too late to collect a specimen for cryopreservation. In this instance, it is wise to think of cryopreservation as a safety measure to protect your ability to attempt conception.

For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact our office at (937) 208-5071 or e-mail andrology@wrightstatephysicians.org.