Module - Principles and Practice of Reproductive Science and Diagnostic Semen Analysis (SLS302)

STP

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with knowledge and understanding of the normal physiology of the male and female reproductive tracts. They will apply this knowledge as they learn to perform a range of techniques and interpret results from diagnostic semen analysis. They will also gain knowledge of current legislation and regulations.

Work-based learning outcomes


  1. Apply and interpret quality assurance methodologies in reproductive science.
  2. Apply health and safety methodologies and practices appropriate to the reproductive science laboratory.
  3. Perform to accepted standard relevant techniques for semen analysis and preparation.
  4. Prepare, interpret and report on diagnostic semen analysis (under supervision).
  5. Work in partnership with the reproductive science laboratory and other clinical specialisms in the investigation of infertility.

Work-based Competencies


Learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1,2,5

Receive, process and store samples for analysis.

  • Minimum data set required for identification of samples and the importance of ensuring that this is complete and correct.
  • The importance of patient confidentiality and how this is maintained.
  • Factors affecting sample integrity and appropriate corrective action.
  • Instructions that need to be provided to patients pre sample.
  • Procedures for handling samples which may contain category 2, 3 and 4 pathogens.
  • Types and implications of hazards and risks associated with handling of specimens and relevant control measures.
  • The quality management process that ensures the correct location and storage of documentation and specimens at each stage of the process.
  • Legal and ethical considerations and requirements in respect of handling and processing samples in Reproductive Science.
  • Infection risk from samples and how to deal with fresh tissue samples.
  • Safe laboratory practices, including principles of decontamination of equipment and work areas.
  • Quality assurance procedures and their application.
  • Local and national health and safety policies and procedures and their application.
2 3

Set up and use relevant microscopes. To include optical principles, maintenance and clinical applications.

  • The function of microscopic components and how to set up a microscope for investigation of reproductive specimens.
3 1,2,3

Measure semen volume, extent of liquefaction and appearance.

  • Normal male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology.
  • Current legislation and regulation as it applies to Reproductive Science.
  • Principles of and standards for diagnostic semen analysis.
  • Characteristics of normal and abnormal semen samples.
  • Semen preparation, including different methodologies, diagnostic tests and functional tests.
4 1,2,3

Perform repeated sperm counts for concentration and motility using the same semen sample and be able to explain the variation observed.

  • Normal male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology.
  • Current legislation and regulation as it applies to Reproductive Science.
  • Principles of and standards for diagnostic semen analysis.
  • Characteristics of normal and abnormal semen samples.
  • Semen preparation, including different methodologies, diagnostic tests and functional tests.
5 1,2,3

Perform diagnostic sperm counts for concentration and motility on different patients and be able to prepare reports for discussion with your supervisor.

  • Normal male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology.
  • Current legislation and regulation as it applies to Reproductive Science.
  • Principles of and standards for diagnostic semen analysis.
  • Characteristics of normal and abnormal semen samples.
  • Semen preparation, including different methodologies, diagnostic tests and functional tests.
6 3,4

Identify normal and abnormal semen samples. To include sperm concentration, motility assessment, morphology, anti-sperm antibody testing, sperm viability testing.

  • Characteristics of normal and abnormal semen samples.
  • Hormonal control of male reproduction.
  • Reasons for referral.
  • Causes of and treatments for infertility.
  • The anatomy and physiology of the male reproductive tract.
  • SSR (surgical sperm retrieval).
7 3,4

Perform gradient and swim-up techniques for the preparation of semen samples for treatment.

  • The advantages and disadvantages of different methodologies used for the preparation of sperm.
8 4

Produce a record of reports seen and discussed with your supervisor.

  • Requirements for records and reports of investigations in Reproductive Science.
  • How to construct an interpretative report and the format required for presentation.
  • Limits of responsibility in the authorisation and issue of interpretative reports.
  • Clinical conditions that may require urgent action and how to instigate such action.
  • Normal and abnormal results and their significance to the clinical question or condition.
9 2,3

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

  • Protocols and requirements for hygiene and infection control related to the relevant range of investigations, including preparation, conduct and completion of investigation.
  • Protocol for hand washing and how effective hand washing contributes to control of infection.
10 2,3

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with health and safety policies.

  • The relevant health and safety regulations for laboratory and clinical investigations.
  • The specific health and safety regulations for the specialism, type of specimen/sample and investigation.
  • The potential hazards and risks and the actions to be taken to minimise these.
  • Use and maintenance of centrifuges.
  • Responsibilities and scope of practice of laboratory personnel involved in performing investigations and reporting those investigations to users.
  • The patient pathway through a treatment cycle.

Work-based assessment


Complete 1 Case-Based Discussion(s)
Complete 1 of the following DOPS and/or OCEs
Type Title
DOPS Receive semen samples and log into the laboratory information system
DOPS Perform sperm counts using the same semen sample and explain variation observed
DOPS Perform diagnostic sperm counts on different patients
OCE An appropriate activity agreed with your Training Officer