GP referral process

The GP referral process is done through the ‘CHOOSE & BOOK’ RAS system, but with a few minor modifications to ensure the initial consultation is more productive and leads to faster treatment.

These include the need for:

  • Semen analysis (organised using the NUH Life request card) – see below
  • Blood testing (endocrinology) for the female partner – see below
  • Couple questionnaire (fert.form.001) which appears on the Directory of services (DOS)

Our central appointments print off the referral and the senior nursing team vet the referral, including a check on SCR to confirm eligibility.

All triaged referrals will be sent back to central appointments with instructions on how to make an appointment.

Vetting may lead to rejection of the referral, due to access criteria not being met, incomplete initial investigations, or lack of confirmed UK residency.

Overseas patients will remain on hold for 2-4 weeks pending investigation by the overseas team, followed by a 2 week period of escalation after which the referral may be rejected. Non-qualifying overseas patients may be seen as ‘fee-paying patients’.

If you are at all unsure about proceeding, please click here to contact our senior nursing team or telephone them on 01159709238.

Endocrinology for the female partner

For regular menstrual cycles:

  • FSH/LH (day 1-4) within 6 months
  • Serum Progesterone (7 days post ovulation) within 6 months
  • Rubella within 5 years/Chlamydia within 6 months
  • Semen analysis within 12 months (not necessary if single female or same-sex couple)

For irregular cycles:

  • FSH/LH (Random) within 6 months
  • Prolactin/TSH within 6 months
  • Rubella within 5 years/Chlamydia within 6 months
  • Semen analysis within 12 months (not necessary if single female or same-sex couple)

Requesting semen analysis

As sperm quality can change significantly with time and delay, we unfortunately have to be very prescriptive about the way we collect semen samples for analysis.

We will send you our request cards and specimen collection kits on request. Please try to avoid using any other laboratory request or containers. If you do not have one available, you can see the information required on the download below.


What do I need to give my patient to arrange a SA?

A semen analysis request card, completed with the GP details, Patient ID, Address and Partner ID. Give this to the patient along with:

  • A 60ml specimen container (please use our own)
  • Patient information leaflet
  • Specimen bag

All surgeries are sent supplies of the above testing kit, please call 0115 9709417 if further supplies are required.

What instructions should I give my patient to ensure the sample will be suitable for testing?

Please encourage the patient to read and digest our ‘instructions for patients’ leaflet (download below).

  • Testing is by APPOINTMENT ONLY, as these are time critical tests.
  • Patients should ring NUH directly on 0115 9709417 to book a convenient date and time.
  • Patients should ensure they have had sexual abstinence of no less than 2 days, but no more than 5 days.
  • Samples must be delivered DIRECTLY to the laboratory by the patient (or their partner) with ONE HOUR of production.

Please note: The laboratory reserves the right to refuse any samples that do not meet the above criteria. Where samples that do not meet the acceptance criteria are analysed, this will be documented on the report form and should be taken into consideration when interpreting the result.

The patient has a blood borne virus (HIV/Hepatitis etc), can I still send them for testing?

Yes. Please note that as the laboratory handles both diagnostic and therapeutic samples, the following must be adhered to when referring known viral positive patients in order to minimise risk:

  • Any patient with a known BBV should be clearly indicated on the SA request form to alert staff.
  • Instruct patients to explain their positive status to unit staff prior to booking an appointment.
  • Known positive patients will not be permitted to produce samples on site, and will be offered the final appointment of the day. This is to reduce risk and allow time for full decontamination of equipment post testing.

How are semen analyses performed?

Please click here for more information on semen analysis.

What are the causes of male infertility ? and what is a normal semen analysis?

Please click here form more details on male fertility/infertility

Where can I download the semen analysis request card?

Download here.

Where can I find SA information for patients?

Download here.