The single most important factor determining a man’s fertility potential is the production of healthy sperm. A semen analysis has classically been used as the marker of this potential, by providing information about the sperm count, motility and morphology. However, there are other parameters given in a semen analysis that are often neglected or overlooked, which may indicate important pathologies – such as infection, prostatic disease, immunological infertility, retrograde ejaculation, malformation or obstruction of the genital tract, tumour, and congenital or endocrine disorders.

Early diagnosis of the male factor is important in order to detect any underlying pathology, determine the extent of infertility and ensure appropriate treatment. It may also avoid unnecessary investigations for the female partner, particularly if her age is a limiting factor.

For men who have had a vasectomy, clearance should only be given when there is no evidence of presence of sperm in two consecutive semen samples. It is therefore vital to ensure that results are reported according to best practice guidelines.

Guidelines for Producing Samples

Ideally semen samples should be produced on-site at TDL’s Patient Reception at 76 Wimpole Street. Ideally patients must abstain from ejaculation for 2-3 days prior to the test, but no less than 2 days and no longer than 5 days before the test. This requirement is important for semen analyses and post vasectomy analyses to ensure reliability of results. It is possible that samples that do not comply with guidelines for abstinence and collection may not be able to be processed. All semen samples must be produced directly into the sterile containers provided by The Doctors Laboratory.

All containers are weighed and batch tested for sperm cytotoxicity. In exceptional circumstances when semen samples are produced off-site, they can only be accepted by the Andrology Department in sample containers provided by TDL.


It is important to make an appointment for all semen samples (on or off site) whether for a comprehensive semen analysis or post vasectomy analysis. It may be necessary to give patients who attend without an appointment a specific time to re-attend. The first appointments for post vasectomy samples should usually be 16 weeks and 24 ejaculations after surgery.

Practices or Patients should contact TDL Andrology to arrange an appointment and confirm instructions for sample collection. Appointments can be made by calling 020 7025 7940.

Times for semen sample collections are different to normal hours:
Monday to Friday: 8.00am – 5.00pm   Saturday: 9.00am – 3.00pm

Please complete a Pathology Request Form for your patient. If you would like to request other pathology, you can use the same form or complete a second additional form. Results will usually be reported to you within 48 hours.

If you would like to discuss these tests, or any aspect of this service, please contact TDL Andrology on 020 7025 7940 or email for further information.