Fertility - Infertility

Sperm collection

It is the process of semen collection. The correct way to collect semen is masturbation. It is the safest way to collect all the semen and to ensure the sample's asepticity, especially when this sample will be tested for microorganisms. The sample must be collected in boxes which are not toxic and can close firmly, because spermatozoa are particularly sensitive to chemical effects. It is also important the patient to urinate and wash well his hands, penis and glans. In certain cases that the man is unable to collect the sperm sample by masturbation, special silastic non-toxic condoms that do not contain any spermicides (normal condoms that are not designed for this use usually contain spermicides).Finally, Medical Assisted Reproduction Units have a special leaflet with instructions for the procedure.

The man must have 2-5 days abstinence from ejaculation. This is because the final stages of sperm maturation last about 3 days. Spermatozoa are constantly produced and retain their motility for another 2-3 days on average. Consequently, as abstinence is prolonged, the sperm count increases, but the "oldest" sperm will begin to weaken, resulting in large numbers of immotile spermatozoa.

Conversely, the shorter the duration of abstinence, the fewer the spermatozoa, but  the motile ones are more. It is therefore wrong to compare samples made with different abstinence days. Semen analysis after a particularly long period of abstinence ( 10 or 20 days) are not indicative of sperm quality.

There are cases of men who deal with ejaculation problems.

In the case of retrograde ejaculation (backward release of semen into the bladder) the man needs to drink a sodium bicarbonate solution (to alkalinize the urine) before he collects a urine sample, and the spermatozoa are recovered following a special preparation process.

In patients with ejaculation deficiency, observed in cases of spine injury (paraplegic-tetraplegic), diabetes and neurological conditions, sperm can be collected by induced ejaculation using a special electro-induction device (electroejaculation).

When there is a chance that the man may not be able to provide a semen sample because of anxiety, the cryopreservation of a semen sample prior to the egg collection is recommended.

Eugonia - Assisted Reproduction Unit
Konstantinou Ventiri 7(HILTON), 11528 Athens

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