A Day In the Life of a Sperm Specialist: Andrology Team

19th October 2018 in Advice

Our Andrology team looks after all the processes and procedures in our laboratory which involve sperm: sperm for treatment, sperm for donation or sperm that is being frozen for future use.

Here’s what a typical day involves for our sperm specialists, so you can learn about the varied work of our team, how we care for sperm and how it is assessed:

Equipment checks

Our state of the art laboratories are custom designed to ensure optimum conditions. We start every morning checking all the laboratory equipment and temperatures and setting up production rooms.

Sperm for IVF

Men whose partners are having their IVF egg collections are brought down to our private rooms, next to our laboratory, to produce their sperm samples ready for fertilisation.

Samples are checked and then prepared for treatment in the IVF lab. All sperm, eggs and embryos in the lab are assigned to individual patients via our advanced Electronic Witnessing system. We may also see men who are here to do a ‘back-up freeze’, which would happen if sample concentration is poor or they are likely to be away on the day of their partner’s treatment.

Sperm checks

We will then see patients who have booked in for routine semen analysis,. When you have a semen analysis we will look at your overall sperm quality and measure all the factors that affect ability to conceive, such as sperm count, sperm shape and how well your sperm moves.

We also see men who are having sperm checks post-vasectomy, and men whose sperm needs to tested for DNA fragmentation. This is done via a special test called SpermComet, which allows us to measure the amount of DNA damage in each individual sperm, so our doctors can advise the most appropriate treatment.

Sperm donors

We do not just see patients in Andrology – sperm donation is a big part of what we do too. We have our sperm donors coming in to give us their donations, which we will check and freeze in our sperm donor bank. We like to have a quick chat with our donors whilst they’re at the clinic, just to check how they’re getting on and advise when they’re due rescreening. All sperm donors are rescreened – which means blood and urine tests – before further donations are released for patient use.

We will also send out sperm donor profiles for our patients to consider, and have a chat over the phone about donor preferences. Many patients are especially keen to know information about personality and what we thought of a specific donor, if he is friendly or engaging. We are always happy to give some insight, it is a great personal touch that really helps the selection process for our patients.

Patients may also contact us about reserving sperm from a specific donor. We offer donor ampule reservation when you’ve had successful treatment with donor sperm, so you can grow your family in future and have full sibling children.

And we also welcome potential new sperm donors, who come in for their initial semen analysis test and a chat about what the process involves.

Sperm for fertility preservation

We also meet with men who are considering storing sperm with us. Men freeze sperm for lots of different reasons, they may be planning a vasectomy and want to freeze sperm just in case. Or they’re transitioning gender or taking HRT. We’ll go through what sperm freezing involves, potential future treatment and help complete HFEA consent forms.

Meet the team

Want to know more? Learn about our Laboratory team and their skills and expertise, what IVF or ICSI involves or how to donate sperm to us. If you have any questions about sperm checks or booking in for a semen analysis, call us on 0161 300 2730.