Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis
It is essential that men who have a vasectomy have their sperm tested properly in order that they may be properly informed about when to cease other forms of contraception. Although vasectomy is a very effective and popular contraception, like all others it carries a small but real failure rate (about 1%). Therefore, failure to attend for PVSA when the surgeon has recommended it could be viewed as reckless.
Generally, we prefer to perform 2 tests but no sooner than 16 weeks post surgery. Although some men prefer to attend earlier, in our experience, it is much more likely that a 3rd or even 4th test may be necessary. Some providers of vasectomy prefer that only a single PVSA test is done to confirm success. Individual patients are encouraged to consult their surgeon for more details.
PVSA is organised by the surgeon or specialist GP provider who performs the vasectomy. Referral for testing is done in much the same way as for semen analysis except that patients are provided with a specific PVSA (yellow) request card completed by the surgeon, along with enough specimen containers and bags for 2 tests. Patients are normally asked to telephone to make 2 appointments with the laboratory:
Tel:0115 924 9924 Ext: 62749
Clearance is the term given when a patient can be ‘said to be sterile’. The term has been defined in collaboration with local surgeons as follows:
- 2 sperm free specimens
- 1 specimen with <1000 immotile sperm followed by a 2nd sperm free specimen
Persistent non motile sperm can exist in men due to either failure to ejaculate regularly or anatomical anomalies leading to retention in the genital tract. For this reason ‘ special clearance’ is given after 28 weeks to patients with persistent non motile sperm retention at a concentration of <10,000.
The laboratory only reports its findings and may make recommendations for further testing. However no direct advice is given about continued use of contraception or otherwise by the laboratory unless it is asked to do so by the surgical provider.