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Post vasectomy semen checks

There will be an updated  information booklet for patients, available shortly : Vasectomy Semen Analysis, which can be found in the related media  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.


  • The first specimen for examination should be produced at a minimum interval of 12 weeks post-surgery and after producing at least 20 ejaculates (British Andrology Society guidelines 2016).
  • Abstinence should be between 2 and 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.