You are here:

Urology/sperm count


Dear Doctor,
I need to provide a sample for testing, I was given a leaflet instead of any decent verbal explanation.
Now I understand why they would say refrain for 48 hours before passing a sample, but what I dont understand is, Why would they say "BUT NOT MORE THAN 7 DAYS"

Do testicles close up shop if not used for a week?

Secondly They say A complete sample is needed for analysis, Incomplete samples will not be processed.

How would they know? say I miss the pot with the last squirt how would that be different to a smaller sample that didnt miss?

Thankyou in advance


They should have explained this to you.  Optimally, we like to have a sample where there has been no ejaculation for 3 days.  This gives the sperm an adequate chance to become mature and active.  The reason for not wanting a sample with abstinence for more than 7 days is that sperm make more than a week ago are close to the end of their viable life and are going to be relatively inactive which would skew the result.

The testicles do not "close up shop if not used for a week".

As far as collecting a complete sample, each part of the sample may have difference concentrations of enzymes and sperm so we like to get it all complete.

We also prefer to have at least two separate samples checked before making any determinations since there is a wide variation in sperm production and measurements.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]