Sims-Huhner Test

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Obtain a glass cannula with a rubber tube, a syringe, a Petri dish, slides, and a ruler.
  3. The client should disrobe below the waist or wear a gown.
  4. Obtain a speculum and a glass slide.



  1. Specimen collection must be witnessed if used for medicolegal purposes.
  2. The client is placed in the dorsal lithotomy position and draped for privacy and comfort.
  3. The external cervical os is wiped clear of mucus.
  4. An endocervical mucus sample is obtained by aspiration in a glass cannula attached by a rubber tube to a syringe.


Postprocedure Care

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. 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

  1. Specimens collected more than 6 hours after coitus yield unreliable results.
  2. An herb that has been found to decrease sperm motility and viability is St. John's wort.


Other Data

  1. Mucus can also be microscopically examined for leukocytes, erythrocytes, and trichomonads.
  2. See also Infertility screen—Specimen.