Instructions for Your Retrograde Semen Analysis

This information describes how to prepare for and collect semen for your retrograde semen analysis ordered by your Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) healthcare provider.

Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which semen flows back into your bladder, instead of out through your penis during ejaculation. This can happen if the nerves and muscles that control ejaculation are damaged or removed.

If you have retrograde ejaculation, you may have difficulty fathering a child naturally. However, it may be possible for you to have a child using your own sperm. This is done by removing sperm from your urine. To see if you are producing sperm, a sample of mixed semen and urine must be analyzed by a sperm bank. This is called a retrograde semen analysis.

Preparing for Your Collection

  • Select a sperm bank and make an appointment for your analysis. Tell them that you have retrograde ejaculation so they can tell you if they have any special instructions for you to follow before your appointment. Ask your MSK healthcare provider for the resource Sperm Banking which provides a list of sperm banks in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • Do not engage in any sexual activity for 2 to 5 days before your appointment. This includes activity with a partner or self-stimulation (masturbation).
  • For 12 hours before your appointment, do not drink more liquids than you normally would. If your urine is very watery, it is harder to extract the sperm.
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Instructions for Your Collection

You will collect your semen and urine at the sperm bank. If the sperm bank doesn’t give you specific instructions on how to do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the bathroom and urinate to empty your bladder.
  2. You will be given 2 cups for collection, labeled #1 and #2.
  3. You will be brought to a private room. You will need to bring yourself to orgasm by masturbating in order to ejaculate.
    • You can do this yourself or your partner can help you.
    • Make sure your (or your partner’s) hands are clean and dry while masturbating. Do not use saliva or lubricants to masturbate. These will destroy the sperm.
  4. While you are ejaculating, hold collection cup #1 at the tip of your penis and collect the semen. Give this cup to the staff.
  5. Return to the waiting area for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not drink any liquids during this time.
  6. Go to the bathroom with collection cup #2. Urinate into the cup. Give this cup to the staff.

Please call your MSK healthcare provider 2 days after the collection to get the result of your semen analysis.

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