You will be given advice regarding preparation prior to giving the sample. On arrival you will be asked a few questions by one of the embryologists and taken to a private room where you can provide a semen sample. This sample is given by masturbating into a small pot. In analysis, we will perform several tests. You may occasionally require more than one appointment.
It is not appropriate to conduct discussions of a personal nature on the telephone and we respectfully advise you that embryology staff refrain from providing results of having a discussion on phone. You will receive a full explanation when you attend outpatients.
Please discuss any difficulties you may have in giving the sample in clinical conditions. We can also arrange to freeze a back-up sample when required to relieve you of the stress of producing a sample on the day of your wife’s / partner’s egg collection.
Early follicular phase FSH, LH & Oestradiol
This is a blood test taken on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd day of your period. Its purpose is to identify those women whose reserve of eggs in the ovary may be below a critical level. When appropriate the dose of the hormone stimulation can be adjusted and likely outcomes can be discussed before the treatment. It is often necessary to update this assessment if this test has not been performed with in the preceding 6 months or if shows an abnormality.
This is also a blood test but has the advantage of being accurate at any stage of the menstrual cycle. However this test is not widely available and hence when considered important we may to do this ourselves in The Centre.
Rubella status and Cervical Smear
It is important to ensure before treatment that you are immune to rubella (a blood test) and that your last cervical smear was normal within the previous 3 years.
Pelvic ultrasound scan
A scan is performed to ensure that there are no pre-existing and as yet undiagnosed pelvic abnormalities such as fibroids, polyps, swollen tubes, ovarian cysts etc before treatment is planned. When present, a discussion of their implications and treatment options can take place at your next clinic visit. In addition we assess certain features within your ovaries to ascertain your risk of ovarian hyper or under stimulation.
Genito-urinary Infection screen
It is prudent that we screen you for a potential coincidental infection in the genital tract which will reduce your success rate and increase your risk of infection after an egg collection or embryo transfer if not treated. This screening involves having appropriate swabs taken before treatment from both partners. We will provide information on tests required and usually your GP’s or local genito-urinary medicine clinics (upon referral from your GP) can help with these screening tests.
Mock Embryo Transfer
Those patients who have had previous surgery on the neck of the womb or who have fibroids will need a `mock’ embryo transfer. This is so that we can be as certain as possible that the real procedure is straight forward. If difficulties are encountered we may need to take specific actions e.g. perform cervical dilatation under a general anaesthetic.
HIV, Hepatitis B, C & Syphilis screening
It is our policy to screen all patients, donors and recipients for HIV, Hepatitis B, C and syphilis prior to the start of treatment. Counselling is available prior to undergoing the screening tests. We can provide a safe environment for your treatment and your frozen embryos and gametes by ensuring that we are aware of the HIV and Hepatitis status of all our patients.
The sperm and embryos are stored in the vicinity of other similarly screened and negative samples. There is a very small theoretical risk of cross infection when a previously negative person becomes positive after storage. It is important to note that such an incident has never been reported to date.
Samples from screen positive individuals have to be handled in appropriately developed laboratory conditions and stored individually. At the present time we are unable to offer this service but will be happy to provide our counselling services and help in obtaining a referral to a suitable centre.