Why does the kit contain material for two tests?
Sperm quality can vary from one sperm sample to the next in the same individual, depending on activity, diet, environment and unknown factors. Thus the result of the first test should be compared to that of a second test performed after an interval of at least one week. In most instances the two tests will be the same. If they differ it is best to obtain an evaluation of the semen in a medical laboratory.
How long should I abstain prior to the test?
Avoid ejaculation for at least three days but not more than ten days before the day of the test.
Thirty minutes after ejaculation the majority of the specimen is still on the funnel and it has not entered the test tube. Should I wait longer?
Yes. Wait another 10 minutes. If, at that time, the sperm sample is still on the funnel, the test should be cancelled. Consult your physician. On the other hand it is normal to have a small amount of specimen remaining on the funnel. This does not interfere with the test.
The top of my specimen was closest to the number 2. By mistake I added 4 drops of test liquid instead of 2 drops. Should I continue the test?
No. The test may not be valid. Discard this test and three days later do another one, using the second set of test material.
What can cause a low sperm count or poor sperm movement?
Excessive heat, for example from use of hot tubs or from fevers, can depress sperm quantity and quality. High fevers may have a negative influence on the test results for up to 3 months after the illness. Illicit drugs, heavy alcohol use and cigarette smoking can all depress sperm counts or sperm movement. Sperm also can be affected adversely by a number of medications. There are many conditions that can cause low sperm quality and commonly these can be cured. If the condition cannot be cured, techniques of artificial reproduction can still be successfully applied in the majority of cases.
Can I collect the sperm sample in a condom?
No. The usual condoms contain a chemical that kills sperm. There are non-medicated sheaths that can be used. Ask your physician where they can be obtained. Do not collect the sperm sample by withdrawal at intercourse because the first part of the ejaculate that contains the best sperm may be lost.
My sperm sample did not reach the 1 mark on the test tube. What can I do?
Try once more with a longer period (10 days) of abstinence. This may allow for building up the volume of the sperm sample. If after the second try, the sperm sample still does not reach the 1 mark, consult a physician for further investigation.