Study Says Do It At Home!

There are few aspects of fertility diagnosis and treatment that strike more panic into the hearts of even the manliest men than the semen analysis or providing a sample for intrauterine insemination (IUI). Let's be frank -- specifically, guys get the willies about the collection of the semen to be analyzed. Nothing like a closet-sized bathroom and a bunch of printed pornography in a public place to get your engines revved... So, many people opt to "collect" the sample at home. But because of worries about the quality of the resulting sample -- think driving through morning rush hour traffic with a specially provided container tucked into your shirt for continuing warmth -- home collection isn't always allowed for patients who live too far from the lab. Enter the thoughtful researchers from University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. They wanted to know just how much difference, if any, it makes to the final outcome of fertility treatment whether or not the guy, ahem, obtains his sample in the privacy of his own home or down the hall from the appropriately disinterested lab personnel. They thought there would be a difference in favor of clinic collection. Lucky for lots of guys out there (and the women who often have to talk them into this task), they were wrong. Following strict World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, they allowed patients to bring a sample from home if they expected their travel time to be less than 45 minutes. Controlling for variables like cause of infertility and treatment drugs used, the study compares pregnancy rates between home-collectors and lab-collectors. No significant difference was found. Next time you and yours are asked to provide a semen sample, here's a link to the study that you want to print out and present to the fertility treatment team... Location of semen collection and time interval from collection to use for intrauterine insemination, published online in Fertility & Sterility, March 2007. Gyun Jee Song, Ph.D., Rita Herko, B.S., Vivian Lewis, M.D

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