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Q: Sperm analysis ( No Answer,   0 Comments )
Subject: Sperm analysis
Category: Health > Men's Health
Asked by: thedon1-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 08 Apr 2006 09:32 PDT
Expires: 28 Apr 2006 13:20 PDT
Question ID: 716811
I had a semen analysis done last week.  First off, I wasn't given a
sterol container so the lab said to collect the sample in a clean cup
of some sort...I used a small tupperware container (clean).  Also, i
wasn't told to avoid any salivia or artificial lubricants while
collection...I used lotion.
Analysis came back with normal readings for sperm count (80 million)
but very abnormal sperm motility at 5% (range of 50%-100%).  Could the
lotion, poor collection cup, or the 1 hour elapsed time before testing
constitute to a poor reading of motitly?  I'm gonna get retested...but
I was just wondering what the chances are the readings are gonna
change.  I'm a 30yo male. Test was taken as trying to rootcause if I'm
secondary hypogonadism. T levels are around 400ng/dl...FSH of 7 and LH
of 4.  Have all symptoms of Low T.

Thanks for any help
There is no answer at this time.

The following answer was rejected by the asker (they received a refund for the question).
Subject: Re: Sperm analysis
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 08 Apr 2006 13:24 PDT

This page from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois in France
discusses in detail the optimal conditions for collecting a usable
sperm sample, and cautions against contamination of the sample with 
saliva, lubricants and other substances:

"Sperm collection can be performed at home or in the lab. Hands and
 penis should be washed with soap and thoroughly rinsed with water.
 Sperm should be obtained by masturbation. Avoid all contacts
 between penis and / or hands with the vagina, mouth or anus. Those
 contacts could contaminate your sperm sample. Avoid also the use
 of commercial lubricants; they contain substances that are toxic
 for the spermatozoa. The complete ejaculate should be collected.
 If part of the sperm is lost, do not forget to specify it to the
 lab technician."

Specifically regarding the issue of motility, it notes that optimal
results are obtained with a specific amount of abstinence prior to
collection of the sample:

"A sexual abstinence of 2 to 5 days is recommended. If the
 abstinence is too short, the sperm volume is reduced and if
 it is too long, the spermatozoa loose [sic][lose] their motility."
More in this section:

It then goes on to discuss analysis of motility and other factors
which may contribute to lower motility:

"According to the WHO's [World Health Organization] recommendations,
 spermatozoa are classified into four categories according to their

 0: immotile

 1: non progressive

 2: slowly progressive or sluggish

 3: rapidly progressive

 A sperm is said to be asthenic* when the percentage of progressive
 spermatozoa (class 2+3) is below 50%. The term used is

 The factors which may affect motility are the abstinence length,
 an excessive absorption of alcoholic beverages, exposition of
 the testicles to heat sources (sauna, oven, prolonged sitting
 position, etc...), the presence of a varicose, an infection
 (Chlamydia, Mycoplasms and Urea plasma, ...), certain medicines
 or drugs (marijuana)."
More in this section:

It goes on to discuss rare genetic influences which might affect
motility. The URL for the full page is here:

Your sample was delivered within the 1 hour period specified in
this article, so that should not have been a factor, though
temperature changes during transport might have had some effect.

In keeping with the guidelines provided, I would expect a different
outcome from your second test, if you do the following:

- Abstain for 3-4 days prior to collection.

- Avoid lubricants and other potential contaminants.

- Use a glass container for collection, if possible.

- Obtain the sample at the clinic to minimize the delay before

- Avoid the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other substances
  which might have an impact on motility.

Other useful guidelines may be obtained from the article above,
as well as from further exploration of the search results below.


Searches done, via Google:

"sperm test" "~affect motility"

Request for Answer Clarification by thedon1-ga on 10 Apr 2006 11:39 PDT
Thanks for the information.  However I was able to capture most of
that doing via google searches.  I need to understand if lotion
(standard body lotion) can impact motility.  I know the criteria to
collect is to avoid lubricant. Is that lubricants that contain
spermicide?  How does non spermicidal lubricants (such as body lotion)
cause disruption  to motility studies?

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 10 Apr 2006 19:44 PDT

This page on Simon and Schuster's 'Simon Says' site, which cites content
from the book, 'Six Steps to Increased Fertility - An Integrated Medical
and Mind/Body Program to Promote Conception' by Robert L. Barbieri, M.D.,
Alice D. Domar, Ph.D., Kevin R. Loughlin, M.D. and Harvard Medical School,

"If you use a lubricant, choose it carefully. Better still, avoid them.
 Even though they're not designed to kill sperm, some nonspermicidal
 gels are gooey enough to reduce the number of sperm that get into the
 cervix. Even the presence of hand lotion or saliva in or near the
 vagina can slow down or kill sperm."

The Environmental Health Network keeps extensive pages with links
to reports of everyday products which may impact health. One of 
the family of chemicals commonly found in products which contain
fragrances is calle phthalates, which have been found to negatively
impact the DNA in sperm:

Their listings under sperm/male fertility contain similar entries:


Additional searches done, via Google:

"hand lotion" sperm viability
Reason this answer was rejected by thedon1-ga:
The answer given is generic answers from Google searches.  I wanted
specific conclusive evidence regarding semen analysis studies being
thrown off due to improper collection methods.

There are no comments at this time.

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