Diagnostic Testing


The Virginia IVF & Andrology Center provides a variety of tests to assess the fertility potential of its male patients. To accomplish this, the patient must provide a fresh semen specimen. We provide comfortable, private rooms equipped with DVDís for specimen collection at the time of your appointment. If you prefer to collect at home, one of our Andrologists can discuss this option with you when you schedule your appointment. Some patients will not be a good candidate for at home collection, because specimens must be able to arrive at our office within 1 hour of collection for optimal testing quality.


Many tests require a written order from a physician and most insurance carriers will not pay for testing without this order. Basic testing such as a semen analysis may be done without a physicianís order, but you will be required to pay for the testing out-of-pocket on the day of the appointment. You may also want to discuss the results with your physician if there is concern regarding the implications of the results on future fertility.


After the testing is completed the test results will be faxed to the ordering physicianís office, usually within 5 business days. The ordering physician will be the one to go over all results. Follow-up with your physicianís office if you have not been contacted within a week after your testing.


SEMEN ANALYSIS COMPLETE/BASIC
A Semen Analysis is a routine diagnostic laboratory procedure used to provide an initial evaluation of the fertility potential of the male patient. The analysis requires fresh semen and includes measurements of volume, viscosity, liquefication status, seminal cytology, sperm concentration, and various motility parameters.


Since semen parameters are variable, it is recommended that a minimum of two specimens should be processed, at least seven days, but no more than three weeks apart, in order to give the most accurate evaluation of male fertility.


POST-VASECTOMY ANALYSIS, LIMITED SEMEN ANALYSIS
A Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis is a diagnostic laboratory procedure used to provide an evaluation of the success or failure of a vasectomy procedure. The analysis requires a fresh semen sample and includes measurements of volume, viscosity, liquefaction status and identification for the presence of sperm and sperm concentrations if present.


It is recommended that patients should have between one and three limited semen analysis approximately two months after the vasectomy to confirm its success.


DIAGNOSTIC SPERM SWIM-UP/24 HOUR MOTILITY
The Diagnostic Sperm Swim-up is a comprehensive diagnostic laboratory procedure used to aid in the diagnosis of the fertility potential of a male patient prior to an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.


The Diagnostic Swim-up requires fresh semen and includes measurements of volume, viscosity, liquefaction status, seminal cytology, sperm concentration, various motility parameters, motile sperm recovery by "swim-up", overnight motility ,and direct antisperm antibodies.


The 24 Hour Motility test is identical to the Diagnostic Sperm Swim-up except that the antisperm antibody test is not performed.


RETROGRADE SEMEN ANALYSIS
Although this condition is relatively uncommon, Retrograde Ejaculation refers to ejaculation of semen backwards into the bladder instead of going out through the urethra . Retrograde ejaculation may be caused by prior prostate or urethral surgery, diabetes, some medications, including some drugs used to treat hypertension and some mood altering drugs; and may occur either partially or completely. The presence of semen in the bladder is harmless. It mixes into the urine and leaves the body with normal urination. Men with diabetes and those who have had genitourinary tract surgery are at increased risk of developing the condition Retrograde ejaculation is confirmed by observing large numbers of sperm in a post-ejaculation urine specimen.


The Retrograde Semen Analysis requires a fresh urine sample and determines whether or not semen is present in the urine. If viable sperm is present in the urine, it can be prepared for many of the other testing performed at Virginia IVF and Andrology Center.


ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES DIRECT
Antisperm Antibodies are immune-reactive particles produced by the body as a response against the proteins contained in sperm. This can happen as a result of contact between blood cells and sperm, as through testicular trauma, varicocele, vasectomy, intercourse, or sometimes for unknown reasons. Antisperm antibodies can be a cause for infertility blocking the ability of a sperm to fertilize the egg.


The Direct Antisperm Antibody Test is performed on semen to identify if antibodies are attached to the sperm.


ANTISPERM ANTIBODIES INDIRECT
In some situations a woman may develop antibodies to her partners sperm, and this may cause infertility by blocking the ability of sperm to fertilize the egg. The Indirect Antisperm Antibody Test can be performed on the woman's serum, or cervical mucus.


MORPHOLOGY
The shape (morphology) of a sperm has been shown to be directly correlated to its ability to fertilize the egg. Therefore, evaluation of the percentage of sperm with normal morphology present in a semen specimen is performed under the microscope as part of a semen analysis. The percent of normal forms calculated from the evaluation of a stained semen smear serves as another parameter to aid in the evaluation of the fertility potential of a male.