You may be asked to avoid any sexual
activity that results in ejaculation for 2 to 5 days before a semen analysis.
This helps ensure that your sperm count will be at its highest, and it improves
the reliability of the test. If possible, do not avoid sexual activity for more
than 1 to 2 weeks before this test, because a long period of sexual inactivity
can result in less active sperm.
You may be asked to avoid
drinking alcohol for a few days before the test.
Be sure to tell
your doctor about any medicines or herbal supplements you are
How It Is Done
You will need to produce a semen sample,
usually by ejaculating into a clean sample cup. You can do this in a private
room or in a bathroom at your doctor's office or clinic. If you
live close to your doctor's office or clinic, you may be able to
collect the semen sample at home and then transport it to the office or clinic
The most common way to collect semen is by
masturbation, directing the semen into a clean sample cup. Do not use a
You can collect a semen sample during sex by withdrawing
your penis from your partner just before ejaculating (coitus interruptus). You
then ejaculate into a clean sample cup. This method can be used after a
vasectomy to test for the presence of sperm, but other methods will likely be
recommended if you are testing for infertility.
You can also
collect a semen sample during sex by using a condom. If you use a regular
condom, you will need to wash it thoroughly before using it to remove any
powder or lubricant on it that might kill sperm. You may also be given a
special condom that does not contain any substance that kills sperm
(spermicide). After you have ejaculated, carefully remove the condom from your
penis. Tie a knot in the open end of the condom and place it in a container
that can be sealed in case the condom leaks or breaks.