Semen Storage Referral Guidelines

Author: Helen Clarke, Andrology Laboratory Manager

Date published: August 2018

Date to review: September 2024

Guidelines for Referring Patients for Semen Storage in the Jessop Wing

  • All men are legally eligible for 10 year storage in the first instance, longer if they or their partner are, or are likely to become, prematurely infertile

  • Initial contact regarding storage should be made to the Andrology Service Coordinator on 0114 226 8349 (in office hours)

  • Requests for storage out of hours (including bank holidays and weekends) cannot be accepted

  • All formal requests for storage should be made on the referral form and test results for viral screening must be available at the time of storage (see below)

  • Only members of medical staff can make referrals. Ideally referrals should be from a consultant.

  • Referring clinicians should discuss in advance of the storage request:

- Whether the patient can produce a sample by masturbation (this is essential)

- That the patient will need to specify what happens to their sample in the event of their death or mental incapacity

- Whether they wish for their partner to be named on legal forms allowing them to use their sample

- That specialist counselling is available in the Jessop Wing

  • To be eligible to attend the laboratory for storage patients should:

- Be able to attend the Jessop Wing in person and unaided. If the patient is too ill to attend the laboratory, or if they are dependent upon oxygen or any other medical device, please call the Andrology Service Co-ordinator to discuss other options for storage.

- Be able to produce a sample for storage by masturbation

- Have tested negative within the last 3 months for HIV, HTLV, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, Hepatitis B Total Core Antibody and Hepatitis C – see below

  • For patients within the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, blood samples should be sent to the Specimen Reception at the Laboratory Medicine Building on North Lane at the Northern General Hospital and marked “Sperm Storage Virology Screen”. If treatment is imminent (to commence within 7 days) bloods should be sent by taxi and the laboratory should be informed by telephone (extension 14777, ask to speak to Virology BMS in Automation) that an urgent sample is on its way.

  • For patients being referred from outside Sheffield the patient should be tested for HIV 1+2 (using a 4th generation test), Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Total Core Antibody, Hepatitis C antibody and HTLV 1&2 and the results forwarded, along with the referral, to the Andrology Service Co-ordinator. Alternatively, the sample can be sent to the Northern General as above.

  • For advice regarding referrals and testing, please contact the Andrology Service Co-ordinator on (0114) 226 8349.