Norm of Sims-Huhner Test
Mucus tenacity: stretches ≥10 cm.
Number of motile sperm: ≥6–20/HPF.
Usage of Sims-Huhner Test
Infertility testing; rape trauma.
Description of Sims-Huhner Test
Examination of the postcoital endocervical mucus to detect its quality and the ability of the spermatozoa to penetrate the mucus. It is believed that the presence of anti-sperm antibodies in cervical mucus may, in part, explain why sperm cannot penetrate normally. This test is included in infertility work-ups when prior semen analysis results are normal.
Professional Considerations of Sims-Huhner Test
Consent form NOT required, unless the specimen is being collected for medicolegal purposes.
- The test should be timed to coincide with mid-ovulation. The male should abstain from ejaculation for 3 days before this test. Intercourse should be performed without using a lubricant. The woman should lie recumbent for 15–30 minutes after intercourse in which male ejaculation has occurred and then arrive for testing within 1–5 hours.
- Obtain a glass cannula with a rubber tube, a syringe, a Petri dish, slides, and a ruler.
- The client should disrobe below the waist or wear a gown.
- Obtain a speculum and a glass slide.
- Specimen collection must be witnessed if used for medicolegal purposes.
- The client is placed in the dorsal lithotomy position and draped for privacy and comfort.
- The external cervical os is wiped clear of mucus.
- An endocervical mucus sample is obtained by aspiration in a glass cannula attached by a rubber tube to a syringe.
- For medicolegal specimens, place the specimen in a sealed plastic bag and label it as legal evidence. All persons handling the specimen must sign a record with the date and time received.
- Deliver the specimen in a syringe to the laboratory, where the following occurs:
- a. After the mucus volume is measured, the specimen is placed in a Petri dish, and color and viscosity are noted.
- b. One measures the tenacity of the mucus (spinnbarkeit) by grasping a portion of the mucus and noting the distance it can be drawn before it breaks.
- c. Next, a drop of mucus is placed on a microscope slide and covered with a coverslip, and the number of motile sperm are counted.
Client and Family Teaching
- This test is performed to evaluate endocervical mucus as part of a fertility work-up when sperm counts have been normal.
Factors That Affect Results
- Specimens collected more than 6 hours after coitus yield unreliable results.
- An herb that has been found to decrease sperm motility and viability is St. John's wort.
- Mucus can also be microscopically examined for leukocytes, erythrocytes, and trichomonads.
- See also Infertility screen—Specimen.