Andrology Services at University Hospitals Birmingham
The andrology service is running as usual during this COVID pandemic. Continue referring via ERS. The waiting period is less than 6 weeks (updated 13.01.2022).
The User Handbook can be accessed here: Andrology User Handbook
The Andrology Laboratory at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is a UKAS Accredited Service (ISO15189:2012), currently operating from a single site located on the 1st Floor of the Sheldon Unit at Good Hope Hospital.
The laboratory's priority is to provide a comprehensive semen analysis service for Consultants, Urologists and General Practitioners from the Birmingham and Solihull area. This includes semen analysis for fertility investigations (Diagnostic Semen Analysis), post-operative analysis of semen following a vasectomy operation (Post Vasectomy Semen Analysis) and retrograde analysis of urine.
The laboratory operates on a clinic based service and has a maximum capacity of 2500 appointments available per annum. This covers the annual workload of routine diagnostic semen analysis, post-vasectomy samples and retrograde ejaculation analysis. Routinely patients will be given an appointment to attend the Andrology Department for on-site sample production in a designated private clinic room, however in exceptional circumstances samples may be produced off site if then able to be delivered to the laboratory within an appropriate time interval.
The UHB Andrology Laboratory has fully trained scientists who are highly proficient in performing quality diagnostic semen analysis in line with World Health Organisation (2010) and the 2016 Laboratory Guidelines for post vasectomy semen analysis. The laboratory regularly performs internal quality control, participates in the UK National External Quality Assurance scheme for Andrology (UKNEQAS) and liaises with other accredited laboratories for comparison of tests not covered within the UKNEQAS scope.
A laboratory referral can be made via:
- Paper copy referral forms sent to Appointment Centre via post/e-mail.
- Electronic Referral Service (e-RS)
A copy of the referral form can be obtained by;
Contacting the laboratory directly on 0121 424 9717
Or by downloading from here Andrology Referral Form
Or by GP’s accessing the word version at: http://www.heartofengland.nhs.uk/gps/
Turnaround Time: 7-10 days (electronic reporting may be more rapid). Paper copies currently sent. This is due to validation of reports by a second scientist.
Anti-sperm antibodies (ASAB) not tested at this laboratory. Agglutination is described if noted.
Please see user handbook for additional information including contact details.
Accreditation information can be found at:
Post-vasectomy Semen Analysis (PVSA)
The laboratory undertakes examination procedures in line with the following guidelines: 2016 PVSA Guidelines. This will give clinicians information regarding clearance criteria.
Results are avialble to Hospital clinicians via the two portals:
- PICS - QEHB
- Concerto/ICE - HGS
GP's can access patient results through their own electronic result systems, although paper copy reports are sent out following result authorisation.
Key details of the service:
- Operates Monday to Friday 08:00am to 16:00pm
- Undertakes diagnostic semen analysis, post vasectomy analysis and retrograde examination (urine)
- Appointment based with on-site room for sample production
- 7-10 day turnaround time (electronic and paper copy reporting)
- Patients are booked within 7 weeks from referral, unless clinically indicated or by patient choice
Andrology Changes to Service or Notifications
World Health Organisation (WHO) Examination and Processing of Human Semen 2021 Guidelines
Changes to Post-vasectomy semen analysis from 1st September 2019
Queen Elizabeth Hospital will no longer analyse semen samples for vasectomy success confirmation from the 1st September 2019. A referral form must be completed and sent to the appointment centre for the patient to be given an appointment to attend at Good Hope Hospital. All samples received into Pathology at Queen Elizabeth following this date will be rejected. Please contact the laboratory if you require any further information.
Changes to the Reporting of Oligozoospermia
Andrology will change the way in which oligozoospermia is reported from 1st April 2019. Oligozoospermia was previously only reported when the total number of spermatozoa per ejaculate was <39 million. The new reporting procedures will include oligozoospermia for any results where there is <15 million per ml (the concentration) and/or total numbers of spermatozoa in the ejaculate <39 million. This will help referrers understand what may be used for subsequent management whilst also giving them important information regarding the functioning of the male reproductive tract.
The use of alpha-chymotrypsin, a broad-spectrum proteolytic enzyme for diagnostic semen analysis samples has been ceased for motility assessments unless under rare circumstances.
Retrograde Examination Procedure
Retrograde analysis is available at Good Hope Hospital. This will assess numbers of sperm and motility (if present). Morphology is not assessed as part of this examination. The test was assessed by UKAS for accreditation to ISO15189:2012 on 21/01/2020 and is now included as an accredited test.
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