Semen Sample Testing After Vasectomy
Although vasectomy is highly successful at preventing sperm from returning to the ejaculate, a confirmatory semen sample test is recommended three (3) months after the vasectomy procedure. There is no charge for this test if performed by my office.
I offer my patents four flexible options for completing their 3 month semen sample test.
Option 1: Office testing (no charge)
Bring your fresh semen sample to our office within three (3) hours for evaluation. There is no charge for this test if done in our office and we will contact you with the test result.
Option 2: Outside lab testing (additional charge)
You can take your semen sample to the nearest lab for post vasectomy semen testing. The lab will fax the result to our office and we will contact you with the result. You or your health insurance plan are responsible for the cost of testing when done at an outside lab.
Option 3: Testing by mail (no charge)
Mail a semen sample to our office with a collection container we will provide for you on the day of your procedure. Our office is unique in offering this option for our patients who live long distances from our office and who may be unwilling to pay for their test to be done at an outside lab. We do not charge for this testing.
Option 4: Home testing (additional charge)
The FDA has authorized several commercially available home test kits that can be used after vasectomy. These tests offer men greater conveniency, ease, and privacy for after vasectomy semen sample testing.
You can search on-line for SpermCheck. Make sure you select the test kits approved for after vasectomy testing and not the test kits approved for fertility/infertility testing. You can purchase the test kits and have them sent to your home for convenient self testing.
Understanding semen sample testing
The best semen sample test after vasectomy is performed using a freshly collected sample either by our office or an outside lab.
We will perform testing for our patients after vasectomy at no charge. Our patients are encouraged to bring a fresh sample to our office within three (3) hours of collection. Providing a fresh sample will allow us to more easily detect motile (moving) sperm. It is tremendously helpful to see sperm movement when sperm are present in small numbers. Although a vasectomy semen sample should not contain any sperm, motile sperm in small numbers could suggest an early vasectomy failure.
It is much easier to see sperm in small numbers when those sperm are moving…so an fresh semen sample is more ideal for evaluation.
If patients are traveling a long distance to get to our office they may find it more convenient to take their sample to a nearby lab for evaluation. The cost for this may be paid for by your health insurance or should cost less than $150 if you are paying out of pocket. The lab will fax your results to our office and we will contact you with your semen sample test results.
Our office will assist with arranging testing by an outside lab if patients think this is a better option for them.
Semen sample testing by mail
Although it is preferable patients bring a fresh sample to our office or an outside lab, we do allow our patients to mail their sample to our office for evaluation.
The mail is a perfect way to send a sample to us but this testing is limited because any sperm, if present, will be intact but not moving. Their are two main limitations to sending semen samples by mail: bacterial infection and sperm, if present, will not be motile.
If there is bacterial contamination we will not be able to examine the specimen adequately and will have to have you repeat the test. Ideally there should be no sperm in a semen sample after vasectomy, but if there are sperm in small numbers then they will not be motile in a mailed sample and it will be harder to identify them.
Many medical studies show men who have vasectomy are poorly compliant with completing the semen sample test after vasectomy and approximately 50% of men will never have the test done.
Although testing on a fresh sample is advisable, I prefer offering patients the ability to send a sample by mail rather than never getting a test after vasectomy. Our office is the only office, which allows patients this extra flexibility in testing.