Home fertility tests are not just for women anymore. A new device that looks a lot like those home ovulation and home pregnancy tests but checks sperm count will soon be available in Europe, and is undergoing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review for marketing in the US.
The test targets couples who have been trying to get pregnant for a few months, but are not ready to seek professional help, Dr. John C. Herr of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who helped develop the new test, informed.
The test helps couples sort out if the male is a factor in the infertility “and to do that in privacy with some cost savings,” he said. “The product will retail for about $25. That is a lot cheaper than going in and having a full semen analysis.”
In the journal Human Reproduction, Herr and his team report on a study comparing the accuracy of their SpermCheck Fertility test with standard laboratory sperm count methods, using 225 semen samples. The tests were accurate 96 percent of the time, the researchers found. Ninety-five percent of the time a laboratory professional and a lay person got the same result when reading a single test independently.
Sperm counts of 20 million per milliliter of semen and above are considered normal. The test will tell a man whether or not his sperm count meets this cutoff, and if it does not whether he has a severely low sperm count (below 5 million sperm per milliliter). “It basically tells the man how deep the infertility is,” Herr explains. “If both strips are negative it’s important that they then seek medical treatment for the infertility.”
Source: Reuters Health, New York