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READ THE RESEARCH

“A New Approach to Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis Eliminates the Need to Evaluate a Fresh Specimen”

November, 2022 – Andrology 

Abstract

Background

According to current guidelines, confirmation that vasectomy results in sterility depends on microscopic examination of postvasectomy semen for the presence of spermatozoa. Guidelines established in 2012 require examination of a fresh specimen within 2 h of collection, which necessitates the patient making an appointment with either the surgeon’s office or a licensed clinical laboratory. Twenty-five to 42% of patients fail to comply with postvasectomy semen analysis (PVSA).

Objectives

To determine if an at-home semen collection kit can substitute for the evaluation of a fresh specimen and improve patient compliance with postvasectomy spermatozoa assessment.

Materials and methods

The kit contains a patented aldehyde-fixative that maintains spermatozoa and semen cells in suspension for quantitation. Patients order a PVSA kit to be delivered to their home and can collect a semen specimen and return it to the laboratory through regular US mail.

Results

From January 2011 through December 2018, 6096 men undergoing vasectomy by 184 urologists in 33 states in the US ordered PVSA kits, of which 5408 (89%) returned at least one for analysis. Of those, 398 men (7.4%) returned the first kit with greater than 10,000 spermatozoa/ml within a year of vasectomy, of which only 4.4% contained greater than 100,000 spermatozoa/ml 12 weeks postsurgery. This suggests that fewer than 5% of postvasectomy patients might need follow-up fresh semen analyses, greatly easing the logistical burden of PVSA. Ninety percent of surgeons returning a patient satisfaction questionnaire said their patients “never” complained about using PVSA kits.

Discussion and conclusion

These data support the adoption of a new standard for PVSA that does not involve an initial evaluation of a fresh semen specimen.

Full paper – Andrology