Semen collection

Semen collection refers to the process of obtaining semen from male humans or other animals with the use of various methods, for the purposes of artificial insemination, or medical study (usually in fertility clinics). Semen can be collected via masturbation[1] (e. g., from stallions[2] and canids[3]), prostate massage, artificial vagina, penile vibratory stimulation (vibroejaculation) and electroejaculation.[4] Semen can be collected from endangered species for cryopreservation of genetic resources.[5]

A breeding mount with built-in artificial vagina used to collect semen from horses for use in artificial insemination

By species


Methods of semen collection from humans include:

  • Masturbation, directing the sample into a clean cup.[6] This is the most common way to collect a semen sample.[6]
  • Sexual intercourse using a special type of condom known as a collection condom.[6] Collection condoms are made from silicone or polyurethane, as latex is somewhat harmful to sperm. Many men prefer collection condoms to masturbation, and some religions prohibit masturbation entirely. Adherents of religions that prohibit contraception may use collection condoms with holes pricked in them.[7] However, such samples are inferior to the ones collected by masturbation in clean cup.[8]
  • Coitus interruptus (withdrawal). With this technique, the man removes his penis from the vagina near the end of intercourse and ejaculates into a wide-necked cup or bottle.[6][8]
  • Surgical extraction, if for example a blockage in the vas deferens is suspected to impede fertility, semen can be taken directly from the epididymis. Such a collection is called per cutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). Alternatively, the testicular tissue itself, instead of the sperm produced can be investigated. Then, the collecting method is called testicular sperm extraction (TESE).[9] A Cochrane review found insufficient evidence to recommend any specific surgical sperm retrieval technique for men with azoospermia undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).[10]
  • Penile vibratory stimulation (PVS) and electroejaculation are two other alternatives for men with anejaculation due to spinal cord injury.[11] The penile vibratory stimulator is a plier-like device that is placed around the glans penis to stimulate it by vibration, and provides the first-line method for sperm retrieval in spinal cord injury patients with anejaculation.[11]

The best specimen is produced when a short period of 3–5 days of abstinence is observed. More prolonged period does not yield better results.[8]


Horses [12]

For semen collection from stallions, the most common method used is an artificial vagina; after collecting semen, it is tested, diluted, then stored according to the intended use. Semen can be either liquid or frozen. There are many kinds of preservatives used in dilution with semen - most contain energy and antibiotics for liquid, and protection from freezing for frozen semen. Many studies are ongoing to improve preservation, increase liquid semen storage time, and reduce or remove bacteria from semen.[13][14]



In order to collect semen from a male dog, an artificial vagina is prepared,[15][16] which is a conical thin latex sleeve ending in a sterile collection tube. The inside of the latex sleeve is lightly lubricated.[17] The male is allowed to sniff a female in estrus. Experienced studs cooperate readily in the process. New studs often require encouragement in the form of manual stimulation,[18][19] also known as "manual ejaculation".[20][21] Generally the male will mount the female, and the collector quickly directs the dog's penis into the latex sleeve. The male ejaculates and the semen is collected in the tube. The semen is then drawn up into a long thin pipette.[22][20] Prior to ejaculation, the penis is massaged inside its sheath. It is then extruded from its sheath, and the collector massages the dog's erect penis near the base of the bulbus glandis using the thumb and index finger. The dog begins pelvic thrusting movements at the onset of ejaculation.[23]


Semen can be collected from wolves via manual stimulation[24] or electroejaculation.[25][26][27]

See also


  1. P. F. Watson (1978). Artificial breeding of non-domestic animals: (the proceedings of a symposium held at the Zoological Society of London on 7 and 8 September 1977). Academic Press for the Zoological Society of London. ISBN 978-0-12-613343-1. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  2. Crump, Jim, and Julia Crump. "Stallion ejaculation induced by manual stimulation of the penis." Theriogenology 31.2 (1989): 341-346.
  3. Asa, C. S. "The importance of reproductive management and monitoring in canid husbandry and endangered‐species recovery." International Zoo Yearbook 44.1 (2010): 102-108.
  4. Lueders, I., et al. "Improved semen collection method for wild felids: urethral catheterization yields high sperm quality in African lions (Panthera leo)." Theriogenology 78.3 (2012): 696-701.
  5. Fickel, Jörns, Asja Wagener, and Arne Ludwig. "Semen cryopreservation and the conservation of endangered species." European Journal of Wildlife Research 53.2 (2007): 81-89.
  6. Essig, Maria G. (2007-02-20). Susan Van Houten; Tracy Landauer (eds.). "Semen Analysis". Healthwise. WebMD. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  7. Kippley, John; Sheila Kippley (1996). The Art of Natural Family Planning (4th addition ed.). Cincinnati, OH: The Couple to Couple League. pp. 306–307. ISBN 978-0-926412-13-2.
  8. Padubidri; Daftary (2011). Shaw's Textbook of Gynaecology, 15e. p. 203. ISBN 9788131225486
  9. "Fertility Center, Stockholm (translated from Swedish)". Archived from the original on 2012-08-30.
  10. Van Peperstraten, A.; Proctor, M. L.; Johnson, N. P.; Philipson, G. (2008-04-16). "Techniques for surgical retrieval of sperm prior to intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for azoospermia". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2): CD002807. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002807.pub3. ISSN 1469-493X. PMID 18425884.
  11. Chehensse, C.; Bahrami, S.; Denys, P.; Clément, P.; Bernabé, J.; Giuliano, F. (2013). "The spinal control of ejaculation revisited: A systematic review and meta-analysis of anejaculation in spinal cord injured patients". Human Reproduction Update. 19 (5): 507–526. doi:10.1093/humupd/dmt029. PMID 23820516.
  13. Al-Kass, Ziyad; Spergser, Joachim; Aurich, Christine; Kuhl, Juliane; Schmidt, Kathrin; Johannisson, Anders; Morrell, Jane M. (2017-12-21). "Sperm Quality during Storage Is Not Affected by the Presence of Antibiotics in EquiPlus Semen Extender but Is Improved by Single Layer Centrifugation". Antibiotics. 7 (1): 1. doi:10.3390/antibiotics7010001. PMC 5872112. PMID 29267226.
  14. Al‐Kass, Ziyad; Spergser, Joachim; Aurich, Christine; Kuhl, Juliane; Schmidt, Kathrin; Morrell, Jane M. (2019). "Effect of presence or absence of antibiotics and use of modified single layer centrifugation on bacteria in pony stallion semen". Reproduction in Domestic Animals. 0 (2): 342–349. doi:10.1111/rda.13366. ISSN 1439-0531. PMID 30351456.
  15. Johnson, Dustie Lee. "Improving semen parameters through modification of semen collection/extension." (2011).
  16. Bartlett, D. J. "Studies on dog semen." Journal of reproduction and fertility 3.2 (1962): 173-189.
  17. Freshman, Joni L. "Semen collection and evaluation." Clinical techniques in small animal practice 17.3 (2002): 104-107.
  18. Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary Medicine Publishing Company. 1989. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  20. The Dog Breeder's Guide to Successful Breeding And Health Management. Elsevier Health Sciences. 2006. pp. 323–. ISBN 978-1-4160-3139-0. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  21. Kutzler, Michelle Anne. "Semen collection in the dog." Theriogenology 64.3 (2005): 747-754.
  22. "Semen Collection from Dogs". 2002-09-14. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  23. Edward C. Feldman; Richard William Nelson (2004). Canine and Feline Endocrinology and Reproduction. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 978-0-7216-9315-6. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  24. H. Frank (30 April 1987). Man and Wolf: Advances, Issues, and Problems in Captive Wolf Research. Springer. ISBN 978-90-6193-614-5. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  25. Christensen, Bruce W., et al. "Effect of semen collection method on sperm motility of gray wolves ( Canis lupus) and domestic dogs ( C. l. familiaris)." Theriogenology 76.5 (2011): 975-980.
  26. Asa, C. S. "Cryopreservation of Mexican gray wolf semen." Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Assisted Reproductive Technology for the Conservation and Genetic Management of Wildlife. 2001.
  27. Thomassen, Ragnar, and W. Farstad. "Artificial insemination in canids: a useful tool in breeding and conservation." Theriogenology 71.1 (2009): 190-199.


Semen collection from rhinoceroses

  • The men's rooms A British journalist takes a closer look at the phenomenon of semen collection.
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