Home sperm testing kit measures semen quality for first time
Home fertility testing kits for men can now measure sperm quality for the first time. Until now, self tests could only measure the sperm count – giving no indication of sperm quality, which could mean that men’s fertility is overestimated and they are falsely reassured.
But now, IVF experts from Motility Count in Denmark have developed a new home test kit that shows whether sperm are good swimmers.
SwimCount provides a measure of motile sperm (good swimmers) and will initially be available from the SwimCount website for £39.99.
To use the test, you just add a sperm sample to the device, and within 30 minutes the colour indicates whether the motile sperm quality is above or below normal within 96% accuracy.
It will give a reading of low, medium (normal) or high levels of concentration of motile sperm in millions per millilitre.
A range of home fertility tests for women are also available.
If you’re having problems trying to conceive, then going for fertility tests might seem a bit daunting.
The NHS advises consulting your GP in the first instance – but are these home testing kits a good starting point?
Allan Pacey, Professor of Andrology (the study of male fertility) at The University of Sheffield, said: “Motile sperm concentration is the most successful predictor of fertility according to many research studies. So yes, this is a good indication of fertility.”
But he warns that the test “only measures some of the parameters that doctors use to evaluate male fertility” so will only give a “rough idea of likely fertility”.
And he says these tests are nothing new. “There have been many attempts to launch a home sperm test kit onto the UK market,” he said. “While it seems like a good idea, I am conscious that most previous attempts have not stood the test of time.
“I don’t think men are too interested in taking these kind of tests – it’s mostly their wives that are keen for them to do so.”