Andrology

Sperm collection

Sperm is obviously half the equation in assisted conception and while your partner is undergoing her OPU so the eggs are safely collected, you will need to provide a semen sample. All our clinics have discreet, comfortable rooms where the male partner can provide a semen sample.

Options

Compared to the effort required to collect eggs, collecting sperm can seem a very simple process, but it often proves tricky.

Our facilities are comfortable and very private, giving you peace of mind during what can be a confronting or embarrassing process. But we undestand that sharing the egg collection experience with your partner can be traumatic and may leave you distinctly unaroused. Other men have physical disabilities or impotence problems, some possess moral objections to masturbation. Others still may be be overseas or similarly unavailable on the day of the egg collection.

Whatever the issue, let us assure you that we are accustomed to discussing these matters on a daily basis, so please feel comfortable to discuss this openly and we can provide you with the most appropriate options. The most important issue is that a supply of sperm be available when the eggs are ready for it. Without it, the whole cycle may be a wasted effort.

Collecting in advance

Luckily sperm freezes and thaws well so collecting a sample in advance is a possibility. There are a couple of techniques we can use to collect sperm in advance.

Condom collection

If masturbation is absolutely unacceptable to you, please obtain a special non-contraceptive condom from our andrology department. Do not collect the specimen with a regular condom as they contain chemicals that are toxic to sperm.

Surgical sperm collection

Surgical sperm retrieval is performed when a man cannot produce an ejaculated sample himself for a variety of reasons.

In some cases of a previous vasectomy, sperm retrieval may be undertaken rather than a vasectomy reversal attempt based on the length of time from the original vasectomy or the woman’s age.

Additionally, in cases of non-obstructive azoospermia (complete absence of sperm from the seminal fluid) or congenital conditions where there is an underlying problem with sperm production itself, it may be possible to harvest sperm directly from the testes (TESA procedure) or epididymis (PESA procedure).

The quantities of sperm retrieved surgically are quite small and generally must be combined with in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). The sperm can either be used fresh, or frozen for future uses.

Spinal cord injury options

Most males with spinal cord injury cannot ejaculate via sexual intercourse and require medically assisted procedures to obtain a semen sample. In this case, your Fertility Specialist is likely to recommend harvesting sperm directly from the testes (TESA procedure).

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