Post-Vasectomy Checks

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Arranging post-vasectomy checks

The first test should be requested at least 12 weeks after the vasectomy operation. All requests for Post Vasectomy checks should be made electronically by the requesting Doctor using the lab requesting system (ICE, Allscripts, Lorenzo, Tquest). The laboratory will automatically be informed of the request and we will contact the patient to arrange an appointment. Please ensure patient contact details are up to date.

The sample should be brought directly to Andrology by the patient or their representative and examined within four hours of production. If sperm are seen in the first sample then subsequent samples must be examined within one hour of production (Association of Biomedical Andrologists, the British Andrology Society and the British Association of Urological Surgeons guidelines 2016). If the patient lives more than one hour travel from the Andrology department they will be required to produce their subsequent samples on site.

Appointments can be made for patients to pass the sample is one of our private rooms.

Can samples be passed at home?
Yes, but an electronic request must be made and an appointment is required to drop the sample at the laboratory within four hours of passing the sample. Some GP surgeries have our semen analysis packs. If not, patients can arrange to collect one from us (once the test has been ordered) by emailing

Subsequent samples may be required within one hour of passing the sample.

If you have any questions, please email

Arranging a post-vasectomy check without an electronic request

We appreciate that there are a small number of GP surgeries that do not have access to electronic requesting.

You can refer via The Care Gateway. Referrals should be sent to: Specialty – Urology AND Clinic Type – Erectile Dysfunction / Andrology. Alternatively, email a request to with the patient name, date of birth, full postal address, referring GP, referring GP practice, NHS
number, patient’s mobile number and email address.

Please note that appointments cannot be given to patients over the telephone without a request having been received in Andrology.

Sample acceptance policy

It is desirable that samples are labelled with four unique identifiers but mandatory that samples are labelled with at least three unique identifiers which are as follows :

  • Surname
  • Forename
  • Date of birth
  • Hospital number
  • NHS number

The request form data MUST match the above information on the sample. Where the sample is repeatable/ reproducible, no analysis will be performed and the sample will be discarded. A repeat sample will be requested. Andrology will accept no responsibility for analysed samples which initially failed to meet the acceptance criteria and will issue a disclaimer on such reports. A lack of patient or sample information may result in the laboratory not conducting the analysis / examination.

Examples could include :

  • No dates and times of sampling
  • Location for report delivery not given

Request forms SHOULD also contain :

  • The patient’s location/destination for the report (or a location code)
  • Tests required
  • Name of Consultant or GP
  • Name of the requester and contact number (bleep or extension)
  • Date and time of sample collection
  • Type of sample
  • All relevant clinical information
  • Patient address for GP requests

Specimen containers

Some plastics are toxic to sperm and can affect sperm motility. Andrology provide specimen containers that have passed toxicity testing and are suitable for semen specimens.

Turnaround times

Semen analysis (post-vasectomy)

1 working day from receipt of specimen.


There is an information booklet available for patients : Vasectomy Semen Analysis, which can be found in the patient library section of our website.

Post-Vasectomy Semen Analysis (PVSA) is the procedure used to establish the success of a vasectomy. Contraceptive precautions should be used until the clinician confirms that the semen sample is clear of sperm. Assessment of a single sample is acceptable to confirm vasectomy success if all recommendations and laboratory methodology are met and no sperm observed.

Special clearance can be given to the patient by the surgeon if the number of non-motile sperm seen in two assessed samples is <100 000/ml (a very occasional non-motile sperm seen in a deep cell chamber). It cannot be provided if any motile sperm are observed.

Requirements for post-vasectomy checks :

  • The first specimen for examination should be produced at a minimum interval of 12 weeks post-surgery and after producing at least 20 ejaculates (Association of Biomedical Andologists, the British Andrology Society and the British Association of Urological Surgeons guidelines 2016).
  • Abstinence should be between 2 – 7 days (3-4 days is best).
  • The sample must be obtained by masturbation (manual stimulation) and should be collected directly into the specimen container provided by the laboratory.
  • The whole ejaculate must be collected into the sample container.
  • The complete specimen is needed for this examination, so if any of the specimen is spilt, the laboratory must be informed and a repeat specimen may be required.
  • A condom and/or artificial lubrication must not be used for semen collection, as it will kill the sperm.
  • A  fresh sample is essential for this test and must be brought directly to the laboratory within four hours of it being passed at home.
  • The specimen container and request form must be labelled with the patient’s full name, date of birth and the date and time the specimen was passed.
  • If non-motile sperm are observed, further samples must be examined within 1 hour of production.
  • Subsequent specimens produced at the referring doctor’s request should be brought directly to Andrology by the patient within 1 hour of being passed.
download Making Semen Analysis Requests and Appointments on ICE