Male Fertility Laboratory
The Male Fertility Lab is a full-service clinical andrology laboratory that provides state-of-the-art testing for male infertility evaluation. Click here to learn more about male infertility.
The Lab serves physicians and clinics throughout UW Medicine and the entire Puget Sound region. providing seamless scheduling and results management. As a regional reference lab, we perform tests for all physicians and patients. We also have strong relationships with local private IVF programs and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
As part of the UW Medicine system, physicians benefit from seamless scheduling and result management. As a regional reference lab, we perform tests for all physicians and patients.
Lab / Appointments: 206.543.4671
Location: 1959 NE Pacific St., Health Sciences Bldg, Rm. BB1133 (follow specific directions for your appointment - it may be at a different location)
Parking: UW Medicine parking at Triangle or Surgery Pavilion Parking Garage
- Semen Analysis: Includes sperm count, motility, “strict” morphology, white blood cells.
- Computerized Motility Analysis: Sperm kinematics in semen or during capacitation and hyperactivation. Poor sperm motility may be improved by Motility Enhancement.
- Swim-out and Density Gradient Sperm Purification: Diagnostic or insemination preparation.
- Post Vasectomy Check: Presence of any sperm after centrifuging the semen.
Sperm Cryopreservation: Done for men facing sterilization or impaired sexual or reproductive functioning from chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or other treatments. Includes a Semen Analysis, and specialized attention to achieve the best possible freezing result for the patient’s reproductive needs. We also freeze sperm for directed donors, individuals wishing to freeze sperm for IUI or IVF, or from a surgical sperm retrieval procedure such as TESA. Samples can be stored long term, on site.
- Retrograde Urine: Semen analysis plus examination of the post-ejaculatory urine to determine if sperm are present in the bladder.
- Sperm DNA Fragmentation: Sperm DNA is easily damaged by environmental toxicants, therapies and other exposures. We use the COMET or SCSA methods of quantifying DNA integrity, and use a purification technique to prepare sperm with low DNA damage.
- Other Specialized Assays: Sperm Identification and Preparation from surgical specimens, Anti-Sperm Antibodies, Acrosome Reaction, Fructose, Reactive Oxygen Species, Antioxidants, Electron Microscopy.
Charles H. Muller, Ph D. and Thomas J Walsh, M.D.
The Male Fertility Lab is overseen by Laboratory Director Charles Muller, PhD, HCLD, and by Thomas Walsh, MD, Clinical Director. Dr. Walsh practices clinical andrology with emphasis on male infertility and microsurgical procedures (such as TESE and FNA). Dr. Muller has over 35 years of experience in reproductive endocrinology and male reproductive biology, and has directed clinical andrology labs since 1983.
The Male Fertility Lab, established in 1979, is a component of the Department of Urology at the University of Washington Medical Center. We are licensed by the State of Washington and CLIA to perform high complexity clinical laboratory testing, and by the FDA to produce, store, process, and distribute cryopreserved human sperm for insemination.
How do I get an appointment, and what do I need to bring?
- Usually, your doctor will recommend a test and send a requisition to us by fax.
- If you have not previously registered at UW Medicine, you may do so before making an appointment, at 206-598-4388. Be prepared to give the registrar your name, birthdate, address, phone, and insurance information. Unless you know for sure that your insurance company is going to pay for the test, please ask to set up an “ELECTIVE” account. Please do this even if you have previously registered, since you likely have only an insurance billing set up. This will allow us to bill you correctly.
- Please call us to schedule an appointment. At this time, you should know what your insurance company will pay; please let us know. Our usual appointment times for semen analyses are M, W, and Th at 9,10,11AM and 1,2 3PM. Special procedures are performed at other times and days. Please consider that appointments for the week you call and possibly the following week may already be filled.
- We ask that you refrain from ejaculation for 3 or 4 days prior to your appointment. There may be a consent or questionnaire to fill in; if requested, we will email it to you, if so, please remember to bring it with you. We provide a private secure room for sample collection. Your partner may accompany you. We restrict the use of lubricants, due to sperm toxicity, to those provided by the lab or clinic.
Can I get a semen analysis without a doctor’s prescription?
Individuals seeking semen analyses for themselves may self-refer through our reference laboratory system. Call us for an appointment.
Does insurance pay for fertility testing?
The majority of insurance policies in Washington State do NOT pay for testing. A few pay for tests but not for therapies. A very few pay for both. You must check with your insurance carrier to determine your coverage. They will need a diagnosis (such as 606.9, Male Infertility) and a test code (89322, Semen Analysis).