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Vasectomy semen testing 


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Post-vasectomy semen testing 

After your vasectomy procedure, you will need have your semen tested in a laboratory to check that the treatment has been successful.  

A semen testing kit with instructions and a return envelope will be provided immediately after your vasectomy procedure. 16 weeks after your procedure, you will need to send your semen sample to the laboratory, and we will write to you to confirm that your vasectomy has been successful. 

Semen testing 

To make sure that your vasectomy procedure has been successful, we need to test your semen in a laboratory. You need to give one semen sample 16 weeks after your vasectomy. Before you give your sample, you need to have had at least 20 ejaculations since the vasectomy. This is to make sure there is no sperm, or very few sperm remaining in the tubes.  

We recommend at least two to three ejaculations per week before you give your sample. If your test results are not clear, you may need to give further samples. Our results team will discuss this with you.  

Remember: You will need to use another method contraception until we have confirmed the success of your vasectomy in writing. 

Semen sample testing pack 

The sample bag given to you after your vasectomy contains all the items you need to provide us with your semen sample. 

Your pack will contain: 

  • 1 non-spermicidal condom 
  • 1 semen collecting kit that contains:
    • 1 small clear sample pot  
    • 1 transport container 
    • 1 plastic envelope  
  • 1 prepaid laboratory envelope 
  • 1 laboratory slip  
  • 2 dressings – to replace the old dressing 

If anything is missing from your pack, please call 0345 300 0212

Delivering your semen sample 

It is best to plan ahead to send your semen sample, so that it is delivered to the laboratory between Monday and Saturday. This means that the sample can be tested in the laboratory within 24 hours. Please delay collecting your sample if the delivery date will fall on a Sunday. Please only post your sample Monday to Friday, before 4pm. 

Semen sample testing instructions

1. Do not have sex or masturbate for a full 48 hours before giving your sample. You should refrain from sex and masturbation for at least 2 days before your sample, but no more than 7 days before collecting your sample. 

2. You must make sure that all the ejaculate is collected in the sample pot provided. You can ejaculate directly and fully into the pot, or ejaculate into the special condom provided and empty its entire contents into the sample pot. Dispose of the condom. Do not include it in the sample pot or the sample will not count, and you should do it again.

3. When all the semen is in the sample pot, screw the lid on tightly and write your full details on the pot. If you do not fill out your details or include the date of your ejaculation on the pot, the laboratory will be unable to use it and you must send another sample. 

4. Put the sample pot into the larger transport container to protect it in the post. 

5. Fill out your details on the laboratory slip and ensure that it states your name, date of birth, centre, full date of ejaculation and client number. You must also state the number of days abstinent before sample collection and confirm the complete collection of all ejaculates in the sample pot. You must also sign the declaration. If you are unsure of any of these details, give us a call.  

6. Put the laboratory slip and the transport container into the plastic envelope and seal it. Put it back into the prepaid laboratory envelope, making sure it is well sealed before posting. 

We will contact you to let you know your results after we have received your sample. If you do not hear from us within 5 days of sending your sample, please call us on 0345 300 0212.  

You will receive a negative result if the test shows that your semen is free from sperm. Occasionally, you may have persistent sperm. This means that a very low number of sperm continues to be present in your semen. This does not always mean that your vasectomy has been unsuccessful. If this happens, we will discuss this with you.  

If we need you to produce further semen samples, we will send you additional kits. We will contact you again when all additional samples have been received and analysed. 

Semen testing costs  

Semen testing is included as part of your procedure as we need this to confirm that your vasectomy was successful.  

For re-assurance in the future we can offer a re-check semen postal test for £40, whether you had your procedure with MSI Reproductive Choices or elsewhere. 

Learn more about vasectomy aftercare

It is important to know what to expect after you have had your vasectomy including tips for your recovery and aftercare, and the support that is available to you should you need it.  

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Recovery and aftercare 

Find out how you can support your vasectomy recovery. 

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Answering commonly asked questions about a vasectomy. 


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Find out what support we provide for our clients who choose a vasectomy.