On instruction from my ObGyn, the wonderful Dr. Basson at Christian Barnard Hospital, The Hub needs to do a SA so that we can determine the plan forward.
Two weeks ago I emailed Milnerton’s Pathcare lab to ask about the procedure of collecting the container and forms required. I got a detailed response back from Sister Bergh quite quickly on what to do and expect – great service. I just need to confirm the costs now but for some reason I have the about of <R600 in mind, so need to double check with the lab.
Today I popped by the Pathcare lab at Milnerton Mediclinic to collect a sterile container and SA form. An administrator Priscilla was on hand to answer my questions and she was so helpful and patient in answering my concerns around time to analyse. Several Fertilicare forum ladies have advised me to conduct SA via a FS instead of Pathcare because of the time frame in which Pathcare tests – any unnecessary delays would affect the accuracy of the test results as sp erm cells die off quite quickly. However, with The Hub’s misgivings, I don’t want to pressurise him. At this state, it’s all about figuring out what our situation is so that we can determine the TTC plan.
- The technicians at the Milnerton lab start the processing and a courier collects all samples every half hour for delivery to the primary lab facility in N1 City (a suburb about 8.6km from the lab) where complete analysis is done. I asked whether we should go to N1 City Pathcare instead and according to Priscilla, that shouldn’t make too much of a difference since it still needs to be processed at the primary lab.
Here’s a list of instructions I was given by Pathcare:
- Abstain from BD/”other activity” for a period of not shorter than 3 days or longer than a week
- No lubrication may be used
- Collect entire sample by “self-help” directly into sterile container (i.e. no condom, BD, saliva etc) and important to use the container they provide to prevent contamination
- It must arrive at the lab within 30-40 minutes of it being produced and before 10am on a Saturday or 16.00hrs during the week
- Plan your logistics if your DH isn’t providing the sample in the lab’s offices; and also check your lab’s opening hours
- Milnerton Pathcare: 07.30 hrs till 18.00hrs weekdays and 07.30hrs till 13.00hrs on Saturdays.
- Sample must be kept body temperature. Sister Priscilla advised me to keep the container next to my skin down my shirt (yes, between “the girls”)
- One can pay for the test when bringing in the sample
- The results will be sent directly to your Doctor
- The test takes 3 – 4 workdays to complete
The form asks the following questions (so important to note in the lead up to SA):
- Number of days abstinence
- Date and time sample was produced
- Was any part of the sample lost in production?
- List of recent illnesses or fevers in the last 3 months
- List of names of all medicines used in the last 3 months
I’ll report back on Pathcare Milnerton’s service in receiving the sample, and providing feedback. For abbreviations e.g. SA, see here for a selection of glossaries.