Lab Collection Directions

En Español

By adhering to the simple procedures outlined below, laboratories may quickly and easily prepare semen for SCSA® analysis. Human semen samples may be prepared for SCSA® testing prior to sperm concentration determination and without cryoprotectants. However, semen previously frozen with cryoprotectant may be tested.

Collecting & Handling Human Samples

Using standard laboratory procedures and practices and in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Institution's Review Board, human semen samples are typically obtained by masturbation into plastic clinical specimen jars after 48 hours abstinence. We have not found differences in the SCSA® data by a lesser time of abstinence; our main concern is too many days of abstinence. If weeks or months have passed since the last ejaculation it is recommended that the man has one ejaculation prior to submitting a semen sample for SCSA analysis. For example, ejaculate - abstain 2 days - ejaculate the final time for SCSA analysis.

Maintain semen samples for 1 hour in darkness at room temperature (e.g. drawer or closet) until liquefaction (semen becomes liquid-like).

Freezing Samples

Freeze 0.25 mL or more of the liquified, raw semen in 1 to 2 mL cryovials. Samples should be frozen as soon as possible after liquefaction to minimize exposure to air, which may cause reactive oxygen species-induced damage.

Cryovials should be capped tightly, labeled with two identifiers (e.g., name and birth date), and in an upright position, placed directly into the pre-cooled dry shipper.

Note: Cryoprotectants are not needed since quick-frozen sperm give the clearest SCSA® data. This feature is unique to mammalian sperm cells due to the highly condensed, crystalline nature of the nuclei.

Note: If the sperm concentration is adequate, less than 0.5 mL (two 0.25 mL aliquots) of semen may be sufficient for the SCSA® test. To perform the test, we require two 0.20 mL aliquots with a concentration of >0.5 million/ml. Please contact our laboratory if you have questions pertaining to the volume necessary for a sample of a certain concentration.

Shipping Samples

Dry Shippers MUST be properly cooled and handled before shipment. Please follow instructions supplied by the manufacturer.

If a clinic uses their own liquid nitrogen dry shipper, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Security and Hazardous Materials Division regulations require that all liquid nitrogen is poured out prior to shipping.* Samples may also be shipped with dry ice in a heavy duty styrofoam box filled with about 10 lbs. of dry ice (please call for instructions).

SCSA® Diagnostics, Inc. will ship a pre-cooled LN2 tank if the laboratory does not have one available. The cooled temperature in the tank will hold for 10 days, so it is important to return the tank as soon as possible with the supplied shipping label.

Note: LN2 is adsorbed by special materials inside the shipper. Thus, even if these tanks are tipped upside down during transport, no LN2 will escape. These containers are considered NON-HAZARDOUS and are accepted by overnight courier services (e.g., Federal Express).

Note: If shipping from outside the United States, special forms need to be filled out in order to properly and quickly clear US Customs. When done correctly, we have not experienced delays.

SHIP (preferably by Federal Express) to:
425 8th Street South
Brookings, SD 57006
Phone: 605-592-9071

If you would like to see the types of information that will be provided to you as a physician after the SCSA test: