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Frequently Asked Questions

Physical factors may include varicocele, undescended testicles, injury or previous surgery to the testicles, exposure to radiotherapy, environmental toxins or drugs, and alcohol. Genetic factors include Klinefelter’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis and undefined genetic polymorphisms, infections and sexually transmitted diseases may also cause fertility problems. Many infertile men have idiopathic infertility, meaning a specific cause of the infertility is not diagnosed. A fertility specialist and urologist can investigate possible causes for the fertility difficulties.

In some cases, such as varicocele, surgical repair may be an option. Certain drugs have also been shown to improve sperm quality if there are underlying hormone deficiencies and this option should be discussed with your doctor. These include Clomiphene citrate, tamoxifen, and antibiotics.

There are several semen quality parameters tested in a semen analysis, including sperm motility, concentration, morphology, and vitality. Additionally, other semen characteristics are measured that may help diagnose specific pathologies. It is important to note that most parameters measured do not provide a definitive diagnosis of infertility, rather they help the physician assess the possibility of specific infertility problems and specific therapeutic options.

Sperm preparations for artificial insemination are used to enhance sperm quality. The sperm preparation that will be used is dependent upon the sperm quality and function. A fertility specialist can make a determination of the best options based on diagnostic tests.

All testing is done by appointment only to insure your test is given the proper attention and tested within specific time parameters.

Our main laboratory is located at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Minneapolis. This site performs all diagnostic testing and prepares samples for artificial insemination. Limited appointments for semen analysis, semen cryopreservation and post vasectomy analysis are performed at our Saint Paul location. Please refer to Testing Times and Locations for specific tests performed and phone numbers to call for setting up an appointment.

As part of our CAP laboratory certification and in compliance with federal guidelines, we are required to have a signed doctor’s order for all diagnostic tests and procedures performed by the Andrology Laboratory. The doctor can place the referral online at https://ivfminnesota.com/, fax the order over before your appointment, or you can bring in the order with you. The order needs to have your name (as the patient) and date of birth, the test or sperm preparation requested, the patient’s diagnosis, and the doctor’s signature.

We will need to have an order to perform testing from a medical doctor licensed by the state of Minnesota. This doctor may be your partner’s OB/GYN, your family doctor, or other medical provider. Your test results will be sent to the doctor ordering your test.

Less than 48 hours of sexual abstinence may affect the test results. In addition, long abstinence periods may also affect the outcome of some of the parameters tested. Any time between two and seven days of sexual abstinence is ideal.

Every insurance company and their coverage policies are different; therefore, it is your responsibility to check on your coverage. For artificial insemination preparations, we will submit billing to your insurance company if you bring your insurance card on the day of your appointment. For all diagnostic tests, you will be billed at the time of service by the Center for Reproductive Medicine and can pay with cash, check or credit card. You may submit the bill to your insurance and obtain reimbursement directly. Contact the laboratory if you have questions about this process.

Samples should ideally be collected into a medically sterile container by masturbation. Normal condoms should never be used to aid in the collections of the sample as they may be toxic to sperm. If you need to collect a sample with intercourse, you can purchase non-toxic non-spermicidal condoms from our laboratory. Please contact us for specific instructions regarding this collection method. Interrupted intercourse should not be used as this may result in the loss of the most critical portion of the ejaculate and the specimen may be contaminated with cells or bacteria from the vagina.

If you know that your husband is going to be unavailable for artificial insemination when you ovulate, you have the option of freezing one or more samples for short term storage. Contact your doctor to find out if this option is appropriate for your situation.

Your test results will be sent to the ordering physician in approximately 3-5 days. You will need to contact your physician to receive your test results.