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At Home Sperm Testing: Should You Do it Early in the Course of Trying to Get Pregnant?

May 08, 2019
by Stanton Honig

Until now, men had to make an appointment with their doctor to be evaluated for male factor infertility. The process can be very embarrassing, and often causes delays if a man is hesitant to see his physician and a couple is not getting pregnant. Well, those days are over. There are now several at home sperm tests that are available where a patient can, in the privacy of his own home and without any pressure, test his sperm to see if there is cause for concern. At the present time there are three that are approved by the FDA. Sperm Check and Trak Fertility evaluate the sperm count and a new option, Yo Sperm, evaluates the number of moving sperm.

Sperm Check, which was the first one on the market and has been available for many years is a home test similar to a home pregnancy test where a specimen is collected and the fluid is placed in a kit. Within an hour, you can read the results within a certain range. A second kit called Trak Fertility uses a similar approach, where a specimen is collected and using a home centrifuge the specimen is concentrated and a readout provided with a range of results.

The newest option available is called Yo Sperm. This uses smart phone technology by analyzing a picture of the specimen and then counts the number of cells and gives you a result of the number of moving or motile sperm per cc in the sample. All of the at home test kits appear to be about 95-97 percent accurate compared to the results of using the standard semen analysis testing in the laboratory.

The benefits of home testing is that a couple can check to determine if there are any male factor problems early and in the comfort of their home, and then if an abnormality is identified they can seek out the care of a reproductive urologist. This is very important because there are many treatable and reversible conditions associated with male factor infertility. In addition, sometimes male infertility can be a sign of an underlying serious medical problem, therefore getting checked out by a specialist is very important in this situation.

In the age of millennials where instant information has become very important, these home tests are a great option and first step to give patients an initial start in determining if there is a concern to be addressed under the care of a urologist. At Yale Urology we have a team that can provide an evaluation, take a thorough history, a physical exam, and a formal semen analysis to determine what next steps may be necessary to address any underlying problem.

Submitted by Eliza Folsom on June 16, 2021