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How to Give Sperm for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Learn how to give sperm for in vitro fertilization (IVF) in this Howcast video about infertility.


Many infertility treatments require that a man produce a sperm sample. These include intrauterine inseminations and in vitro fertilization. When a man is instructed to provide sperm for insemination or in vitro fertilization, he can do so by producing the sample at home or in the physician's office where there is often a specialized room for that purpose.

Sperm should be brought in a sterile cup to the physician's office within one hour of production. The sperm should be kept reasonably warm, and the cup can be cradles in the man's coat or even wrapped in a sock to prevent chill. Once the sperm arrives at the doctor's office, it is often centrifuged and the best sperm are removed and placed into a special catheter for insemination. In cases in which the semen is produced at the physician's office, the cup is then handed directly to the technician who will then take the semen and place it in special media and then centrifuge it.

In the physician's office, a room may be available to produce the sample. That room may have certain stimulatory materials including magazines or videos. Often times, there is a computer with a selection of videos that a man can use to produce the sample. The room is often soundproof, but not always. And, there are often distractions. It is generally better if the man lives fairly close to the center and produce the sample at home where there will be less distractions and a more comfortable environment.

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