Andrology Laboratory Services provides advanced technology and a wide range of services for the accurate diagnosis of male infertility. Part of Assisted Reproductive Technology Services (ARTS), the lab offers convenient services in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. From accepting and filing insurance for patients to quick turn-around on results, the Andrology Lab is designed to efficiently meet your needs.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends evaluation of the male partner if pregnancy has not occurred within one year of unprotected intercourse, which is the typical definition for infertility. According to the American Urological Association, infertility affects approximately 15 percent of all couples. In 30 to 40 percent of these couples, the infertility involves both male and female factors. In approximately 20 percent of infertile couples, the inability to conceive is due entirely to a male factor.
Tests and services include:
- Semen analysis: Test for male infertility which includes semen volume, sperm count, motility and morphology. A morphology analysis consists of the examination and evaluation of the shape of each sperm cell. A viability analysis, which distinguishes living sperm cells without motility from dead sperm cells, is automatically performed on semen samples with 0 percent motility. Semen analysis should be part of the initial diagnostic workup for all couples seeking fertility services and can help an ARTS physician determine the best ARTS method to use. Test results are available within 24 hours.
- IUI (intrauterine insemination) sperm preparation: A therapeutic approach in which sperm are washed in preparation for being placed directly into the uterus. The wash concentrates and separates the usable motile sperm cells from non-motile sperm, debris and surrounding seminal fluid. For the IUI, a thin catheter is placed through the woman's cervix and into the uterus. The washed sperm is then introduced into the uterus though this catheter. The procedure is done in a physician's office and takes only a few minutes.
- Sperm cryopreservation: Available for men who wish to preserve their fertility prior to cancer treatments or vasectomy, or to preserve sperm for future IUI where the male partner will be out of town for the insemination.
- Anti-Sperm Antibody Testing (available at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas Andrology Lab only): Test to detect whether there are specific antibodies against a man's sperm in semen. Semen can trigger an immune response, and the resulting antibodies can disable or kill sperm, which can limit a couples' chances for conceiving a child. A man can produce sperm antibodies as a result of damage to the testicles, surgical procedures (such as vasectomy or biopsy) and infections of the male reproductive system.
Ordering Tests and Scheduling an Appointment
Semen analysis may be ordered by an obstetrician/gynecologist, family practice physician or urologist. Please note that initial evaluation should include two semen analysis tests. Orders can be faxed directly to ARTS. Click "Contact us" on the left-hand navigation bar for each lab's contact information.
An appointment must be made in advance for all semen analysis, IUI sperm preparation and sperm cryopreservation. Contact each hospital's lab to schedule an appointment. Semen analysis is performed from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, and in the afternoon by special appointment.
You must bring your signed Laboratory Requisition from your physician with you (or have faxed it to our office), as well as your driver's license. We will be glad to file your insurance claim for you, if you have medical insurance.
For semen analysis, IUI sperm preparation or IVF procedures, an abstinence period of at least 48 hours but no more than five days is advised. Please refrain from ejaculation by any method during this abstinence period. Abstinence periods outside this range may result in unreliable values and may necessitate repeating the test.
It is best to collect specimens at the Andrology Lab, but specimens may be collected at home using the sterile specimen container provided by the Andrology Lab if brought to the office within 45 minutes of collection time. The specimen should be kept near body temperature during transport.
A clean specimen is important. Wash your hands and genital area, and if possible take a shower, before collection. Collect the specimen by masturbation into the sterile specimen container provided by the Andrology Lab. Household containers are not acceptable.
Please do not use lubricants, as they can be toxic to sperm. The Andrology Lab can supply lubricant if you feel you absolutely need it. Take extreme care if you use lubricant to not get any into the specimen container and use the smallest amount of lubricant possible. Ejaculate into the specimen container without touching the interior if possible. Put the lid on tightly, and label the container with your name. Please note that the only acceptable method of ejaculation for semen analysis is masturbation. Other methods of collection may result in a contaminated specimen and may not provide a reliable or representative sample.
Test results will be sent to the requesting physician within 24 hours. Results may not be given to patients directly from the Andrology Lab.
For patients in which other options for obtaining sperm have not been productive, testicular biopsy samples can be collected by a urologist or infertility specialist. Tissues samples are dissected and minced by an embryologist, releasing any sperm present from testicular tubules. Fluid may also be surgically retrieved from the epididymis and typically yields motile sperm. The recovered sperm can be cryopreserved for future procedures or used immediately.
The Andrology Lab accepts and files insurance on behalf of patients. The lab is in-network with Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS), Cigna, United Healthcare and many other insurance companies. Semen analysis is covered by most insurance plans.
Texas Health offers three ARTS locations to serve you. Call for copies of our requisition, to order tests, request a map to our facility, to schedule an appointment or for more information.
- Plano: 972-981-3324
- Dallas: 214-345-2624
- Fort Worth: 817-250-7034