You may be asked to avoid any sexual
activity that results in ejaculation for 2 to 5 days before this test.
This helps to make sure that your sperm count will be at its highest. It also makes the test more reliable. If possible, do not avoid sexual activity for more
than 1 to 2 weeks before this test. A long time without sexual activity
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 take.
How It Is Done
You will need to produce a semen sample. This is
usually done 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. Then you can take it to the office or clinic
The most common way to collect semen is by
masturbation. You direct 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 you ejaculate. 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 ways 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 well before you use it. This helps to remove any
powder or lubricant on the condom that might kill sperm. You may also be given a
special condom that does not have any substance on it that kills sperm
(spermicide). After you ejaculate, carefully remove the condom from your
penis. Tie a knot in the open end of the condom. Then place it in a container
that can be sealed in case the condom leaks or breaks.