On the day of the egg retrieval, the partner will have to give a sperm sample. Sperm retrieval is achieved by masturbation in a sterile urine collector, in a specially designed area of the IVF Center or at home, provided the specimen is transported to the laboratory within the hour. It is commonly recommended for men to be absent from ejaculation 3 to 5 days before the sperm retrieval. The sperm sample is processed in the laboratory before being placed together with the ova for fertilization.
Sometimes, cryopreserved (“frozen”) semen that has been harvested in advance is used for the IVF treatment. This is necessary in cases of serious semen disorders where the risk of absence of spermatozoa in the sample given on the day of the egg retrieval is high; in such cases, it is essential for viable sperm to be cryopreserved in advance.