Context of the question: storing sperm in cryobanks. I read the following comment:

I could find the relevant citations when I have some time, but I seem to remember some research findings that show that sperm quality is better when ejaculated outside a lab building which is curious. This could account for wishing sperm samples to be brought in from home, but mailing the sample would in my mind affect quality more. Interesting question. – Chris Rogers 13 hours ago

Is the quality of sperm higher when ejaculated outside a lab building than when inside one?

I couldn't find studies on it. I imagine that if there is indeed a difference in quality this could be due to some psychological factors, so I find the statement plausible.

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    I am sorry to say that looking for reputable sources it sounds like I was reading a report which gave false information at the time. See Licht et al. (2008) and Song et al. (2007). Aug 30, 2020 at 10:02
  • I wonder if this could be a matter of actual sex versus masturbation. Aren't there sperm-collection condoms to collect a sperm sample during actual sex? I assume the quality of the sperm collected during actual sex is higher. Aug 31, 2020 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


Chris Rogers's comment on Aug 30 at 10:02 points to two references, Licht et al. (2008) and Song et al. (2007), that answer the question: the quality of sperm when ejaculated outside a lab building is not higher than when ejaculated inside a lab building.

Song et al. (2007):

The location of semen collection (home vs. clinic) for IUI did not affect pregnancy rates in a general infertility population (633 IUI cycles from 335 patients), if World Health Organization guidelines for time from specimen collection to use were followed. The time interval from semen collection to IUI was not different between patients who conceived and those who did not (pregnant vs. nonpregnant, 70 ± 19 minutes vs. 73 ± 18 minutes).

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