Semen post vasectomy check



  • The first sample should be submitted a minimum of 12 weeks after vasectomy and after 20 ejaculations
  • If sperm are present a second sample will need to be examined within 1 hour of production. The patient should contact the laboratory on 0300 422 4200 to make an appointment.
  • Provided the guidelines regarding specimen timing and collection are followed, clearance can be given if the first sample is clear of sperm or if the repeat sample contains non-motile sperm at a count of <100,000 per mL
  • Persistent non-motile spermatozoa is not uncommon. 10% of men will continue to have residual non-motile sperm at six months post op. A sperm count of <100,000 per mL is considered low risk for unwanted pregnancy.
  • Men with low numbers of persistent non-motile sperm in their ejaculates (i.e. after 7 months and at least 24 ejaculates) may be given "special clearance" to discontinue other contraceptive precautions following appropriate counselling and advice regarding the risk of pregnancy
  • See also:

Sample requirements

60 mL wide-mouthed container 


These are supplied by Pathology

  • Samples should be produced at home by masturbation directly into the container
  • The complete sample must be collected
  • Condom collected or withdrawal samples are NOT suitable
  • Please note the date and time of production on the sample and form
60 mL wide-mouthed sterile container

Required information

  • Date and time of production of the sample
  • Whether or not the sample is complete
  • Date of vasectomy
  • The number of ejaculations post vasectomy
  • Days elapsed since last ejaculation


Patients are advised to keep the sample warm, e.g. in an inside pocket

Samples may be sent to the laboratory anytime between 08.30am and 04.00pm Monday to Thursday and within 4 hours of production - there is no service for this investigation at weekends

Turnaround time

24 hours

Page last reviewed: 21/04/2017