Assisted Reproduction TechniquesDiagnostic tests

Sperm Survival Test

What is the Sperm Survival Test?

The sperm survival test evaluates the seminal parameters required to achieve egg fertilization naturally or through assisted reproductive techniques (ART). To do this, it analyzes the following aspects:

  • Sperm mobility after having passed the capacity process
  • Sperm survival, after 24 hours in a CO2 atmosphere
  • In addition, the presence or absence of bacterial contamination in the capacitated sample is evaluated.


What is sperm capacitation?

Sperm capacitation is defined as the physiological changes that a sperm cell undergoes to acquire the ability to fertilize an ovum. The sperm acquires this fertilizing capacity in the female reproductive system, in its migration after the cervical mucus. Sperm capacitation can also be achieved unnaturally or "In Vitro" in the laboratory using two different techniques: swim-up and density gradients. With these techniques sperms are separated from the seminal plasma, obtaining the ones with the best movement. The capacitating result using these techniques is called MSC (Motile Sperm Count) and its unit of measurement is the number of rectilinear mobile sperm present per milliliter of ejaculate.

How is the sperm sample obtained for its analysis?

In order to guarantee the maximum reliability of the spermogram diagnosis, the sperm sample shall be obtained following these indications:

  • The sample should be collected after 2-4 days of sexual abstinence. A much longer abstinence is not recommended. (The abstinence period must be neither shorter than 2 days, nor longer than 4 days).
  • Collect the sperm sample in a sterile container, we will give you one at Ginefiv, nevertheless you can buy these containers in a pharmacy.
  • Masturbation is the standard method for the sperm sample collection,  as neither the interruptus coitus, nor the use of commercial condoms is accepted.
  • The collection of the sperm sample must be performed under hygienic conditions (you will need to wash your hands previously).
  • Be sure that the whole sample is inside the sterile container, because in case most of it falls out of the container, the sample will not be valid. Don’t worry if just a little part of the sample falls out.
  • In the event, you obtain the sample at home:
    • Once you have obtained the sample, make sure you have closed the container properly and that the sample doesn’t get too cold (the sample has to be kept at a temperature between 20ºC and 30ºC, avoiding abrupt temperature changes. That’s why we recommend carrying the sample in an interior pocket).
    • The maximum period of time between the sperm sample collection and its delivery at the laboratory should be of one hour.
  • If you have a temperature (fever) between 7 to 10 days before the sperm sample collection or if you are taking antibiotics, you should contact the laboratory to postpone your appointment.


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