Departments

Andrology

About EPA Andrology

The three Andrology Departments that are based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn (QEH) are all part of the Eastern Pathology Alliance (EPA) which is a managed Pathology network. The Laboratory’s services include Basic Semen Analysis, Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis and Vasectomy Reversal Semen Analysis. In order to maintain high standards of analysis this department participates in national external quality assessment schemes (EQA) for basic semen analysis and performs internal quality assessments for post vasectomy semen analysis. The Department is working towards compliance with ISO 15189, Medical laboratories – Requirements for quality and competence.

These department pages provide information about how users can access our services, who to contact for advice, which tests we perform, sample requirements, normal ranges and turnaround times. This information is accurate at the time of issue and is reviewed and updated regularly to incorporate new developments. For patients using this website, please note that any information provided should not be used for self-diagnosis and should you have any concerns about your health please consult your GP.

If you find any errors within this document or would like to make any comments and/or suggestions for improvement, please contact Diane Murley, EPA Quality Manager on 01603 286900 or email diane.murley@nnuh.nhs.uk Requesting Andrology Tests Please click here for information about requesting tests.

Requesting Andrology Tests

Please click here for information about requesting tests.

Test Samples

Patients must read the Information Leaflet 7 days prior to their appointment as it contains important information regarding sample collection and abstinence period criteria.

Informed Consent

NOTE: All procedures and investigations carried out on a patient need the informed consent
of the patient.

Patient consent:
  • NOTE – All procedures carried out on a patient need the informed consent of the patient.

For most routine laboratory procedures, consent can be inferred when the patient presents himself or herself at a laboratory, or other suitable area, within a primary or secondary care setting, with a request form and willingly submits to the usual collecting procedure.

The laboratory infers informed consent has been obtained when samples are received. It is the responsibility of the clinician requesting the test to ensure that informed consent has been obtained.

This consent includes notification to third parties where required by law for example under
the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010: we are required to notify any infection
of public health significance to local public health department as mandated by the regulation.
Please ensure your patient is aware of this before submission of samples for testing.

Basic Semen Analysis & Vasectomy Reversal Tests

  • Semen specimen produced by masturbation only, collected into a sterile, non-toxic, pre-weighed, wide-mouthed clear plastic container provided by the laboratory with a hand written label. Note: Any lost fraction of sample can be recorded on the patient’s pre-analysis questionnaire (provided by the laboratory).
  • Non-toxic condoms may only be used for sample collection in exceptional circumstances, such as when it is evident that the patient has an inability to produce a sample by masturbation and only after the GP has discussed these circumstances with the laboratory prior to the patient booking a sample delivery appointment.
  • The patient needs to have abstained from intercourse/ejaculation for 48 hours prior to sample collection, but needs to have had intercourse or ejaculated at least once, 5 days prior to the 48 hour abstinence period.
  • Patients will need to produce their samples at home on the day of their appointment, within 50 minutes of their scheduled appointment time as there are no on-site sample production facilities. Patients are prohibited to using hospital toilets as a sample production room.
  • There is no minimum sample volume required – samples of low volume may be of clinical significance.
  • Containers need to be labelled by the patient with their full name, date of birth and HRN/NHS number by hand and not using any additional pre-labelled stickers as this affects the final sample volume.

Post Vasectomy Tests

  • Must be at least 12 weeks post-procedure and after a minimum of 20 ejaculations.
  • A complete ejaculate of semen produced my masturbation only, collected into a pre-weighed non-toxic container provided by the laboratory.
  • Note: Incomplete samples & samples that have leaked in transit cannot be tested and will be rejected.
  • Note: Samples produced in any other container than that provided by the laboratory will be rejected.
  • The patient needs to have abstained from intercourse/ejaculation for 48 hours prior to sample collection, but needs to have had intercourse or ejaculated at least once, 5 days prior to the 48 hour abstinence period.
  • Patients will need to produce their samples at home on the day of their appointment, within 50 minutes of their scheduled appointment time as there are no on-site sample production facilities. Patients are prohibited to using hospital toilets as a sample production room.
  • Containers need to be labelled by the patient with their full name, date of birth and HRN/NHS number by hand and not using any additional pre-labelled stickers as this affects the final sample volume.

Rejection of samples that do not meet the above requirements

  • The entire sample has leaked in transit (Basic Semen Analysis). Partial loss of sample is acceptable for Basic Semen Analysis with a record of the lost fraction on the patient-pre analysis questionnaire.
  • Patients who bring an empty sample container to their appointment assuming they can produce their samples on site. Under no circumstances can we be seen to condone onsite sample production within the hospital premises.
  • Samples that are dropped off at the laboratory reception when the patient has not attended his sample delivery appointment and there is no patient pre-analysis form filled out.
  • Unlabelled/incorrectly labelled samples (for example those that are dropped off at the laboratory reception when the patient has not attended his sample delivery appointment).
  • Samples that arrive at the laboratory when the patient does not have an appointment and the workload in the laboratory does not allow time for the sample to be tested.
  • Samples that arrive at the laboratory through the EPA GP blood sample transport system.
  • The patient does not have a valid request from a clinician for the test.
  • If a sample has been brought to the sample delivery appointment by a representative and the pre-analysis questionnaire has not been signed by the patient. • Samples that are not produced on the same day as their scheduled appointment.

Sample Delivery

The patient will arrive at the Pathology reception and be greeted by a laboratory staff member who will escort the patient to an Andrology Consultation Room or a private location within the pathology reception waiting area. The laboratory staff will check the patient has a valid request form and check the sample container is correctly labelled in comparison to the request form. The pre-analysis questionnaire will also be checked to ensure it is complete and signed by the patient. This checking process only takes a few minutes. Only then can samples be accepted for testing.

  • All samples are to be brought to the laboratory by the patient on the date and time of their appointment and must be less than 50 minutes old at the time of their appointment. Samples delivered after 50 minutes post collection due to travel time or traffic issues will not be rejected, but the timeframe between collection and time of analysis will be noted on the final report and suitable comments will be added to the report if any of the results are abnormal.
  • The patient must ensure that the sample is kept as close to body temperature (between 20-37°C) as possible by keeping the sample close to the body in a trouser/coat pocket during transport to the laboratory.
  • The patient needs to have correctly completed and signed the pre-analysis questionnaire and must bring this to the sample delivery appointment.
  • The patient must bring their request form to the sample delivery appointment.
  • Samples may be delivered by the patient’s partner/representative only if the patient has labelled the sample container with three points of identification and correctly completed and signed the pre-analysis questionnaire. The patient’s partner/representative must bring the patient’s request form to the sample delivery appointment, and must adhere to the sample delivery requirements stated above and in the patient information leaflet.
  • Note: Samples delivered by a representative where the patient has not signed the patient’s pre-analysis questionnaire will be rejected.

Results

Report Availability

Results are reported within 7 working days of receiving the sample and are sent directly to the requesting clinician via Web ICE.

Due to IG compliance requirements, results cannot be communicated directly to patients. 

We advise patients to book a telephone appointment with a GP between 7-10 days after your sample delivery appointment in order to obtain your results, which enables you to discuss your results in detail with the opportunity to ask questions.

Patients are also advised to read the following leaflets below to assist with understanding their results.

Leaflets

Appointments

Appointment Times

The Andrology service is run on an appointment basis only and patients need to have been issued with a request form prior to calling the laboratory to book a sample delivery appointment. Any samples received outside these hours and without a pre-booked appointment may be rejected for testing.

JPUH

The JPUH offer 5 appointments on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 09:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. The Andrology Department at the JPUH is located on the ground floor along the west corridor at the rear of the building signposted: PATHOLOGY.

NNUH

The NNUH offer 6 appointments on a Monday, Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday between 08:30 a.m. to 14.00 p.m. The Andrology Department at the NNUH is located on Level 1 in the East Block and is signposted: PATHOLOGY. Look for the Pathology reception window.

QEH

The QEH offer 5 appointments on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 09:00 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. The Andrology Department at the QEH is located on the ground floor in area 4 at the rear of the building signposted: PATHOLOGY/BLOOD TESTS.

Note: Patients will need to use the telephone located on the wall on the right-hand side, in the Pathology waiting area to contact a member of the Andrology team to inform them of their arrival. You do not need to take a ticket.

Appointment Booking

Appointments are only available to book after a valid request has been generated/completed by a clinician. Appointments are to be made by the patient via telephoning the laboratory using the telephone number provided on the request form (if requested electronically on Web ICE) or the patient information leaflet (if requested manually). The patient will need to confirm their full name, DOB, HRN/NHS number and address when booking their appointment and the location of the laboratory that they require their sample to be tested at; appointments are made centrally by the pathology office at the NNUH for all EPA laboratory locations.

The laboratory will send the patient a sample pack containing confirmation of their appointment and a pre-weighed non-toxic sample container, pre-analysis questionnaire and an information leaflet containing clear instructions the patient needs to follow prior to sample collection.  

Current Appointment Waiting Times

ALL SITES

Basic Semen Analysis appointments are booked a minimum of 10 days in advance to allow sufficient time for posting the sample pack and for the patient to adhere to the sample collection instructions. 

Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis appointment should be no sooner than 12 weeks post-procedure and after a minimum of 20 ejaculations. 

JPUH

The current approximate waiting times for appointments at JPUH are between 10 days and 3 weeks from the day of booking depending upon availability.

NNUH

The current approximate waiting times for appointments at NNUH are between 2 weeks and 1 month from the day of booking depending upon availability.

QEH

The current approximate waiting times for appointments at QEH are between 10 days and 2 weeks from the day of booking depending upon availability.

Opening Times 

The Andrology service is run on an appointment basis only and patients need to have been issued with a request form prior to obtaining an appointment. Any samples received outside these hours and without prior appointments may be rejected for testing.

JPUH

The JPUH offer 5 appointments on a Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday between 09:00 and 14:00.
The Andrology Department at the JPUH is located on the ground floor along the west corridor at the rear of the building signposted ‘Pathology’.

Monday09:00 - 14:00
Tuesday09:00 - 14:00
Wednesday09:00 - 14:00

NNUH

The NNUH offer 6 appointments on a Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday between 08:30 and 14.00 noon. 

The Andrology Department at the NNUH is located on Level 1 in East Block and is signposted ‘Pathology’. Look for the Pathology reception window.

Monday08.30 - 14:00
Tuesday08.30 - 14:00
Wednesday08.30 - 14:00

QEH

The QEH offer 5 appointments on a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday between 09:00 and 14:00.

The Andrology Department at the QEH is located on the ground floor in area 4 at the rear of the building signposted: ‘Pathology/Blood Tests’

Note: Patients will need to use the telephone located on the wall outside Pathology to contact a member of the Andrology team to inform them of their arrival.

Tuesday09:00 - 14:00
Wednesday09:00 - 14:00
Thursday09:00 - 14:00

EWA-D-001 Last updated 18/08/2021 (1)