In The Comfort Of Home
It's not much fun for men to go through producing sperm samples at an office for fertility testing. The thought that everyone knows what you've done to get that sample is well, unsavory and embarrassing—even if it is for a good cause. Now there's another way to get tested.
A brand new home test that can check a man's sperm count will be available soon in Europe and is now awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval so that it can be sold within the United States. SpermCheck Fertility is meant for couples who have been trying to get pregnant for a short time. The test can be used as the first step in determining a couple's fertility status and can indicate whether they should seek professional advice.
According to statistics issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about 7.3 million U.S. couples or 12% of the population that is of childbearing age, are troubled by fertility problems. Fertility is time-consuming, expensive, and anxiety-producing. This low-cost test that can be performed at home may help make things a little less difficult.
One of the developers of the new test, Dr. John C. Herr of Charlottesville's University of Virginia explains that the function of this test is to determine whether there is a male factor to a couple's infertility. According to Herr, the couple can purchase the test, " …and do that in privacy with some cost savings."
Herr says the kit retails for around $25. "That's a lot cheaper than going in and having a full semen analysis." Herr adds, depending on where you live, a semen analysis can run from $65 all the way up to $250 and insurance may not cover your costs.
The manufacturer claims that SpermCheck Fertility works much like a home pregnancy test, and is very sensitive. The test is said to have 95% accuracy in tallying sperm count levels, using standards provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).
To test with the home kit, the semen is allowed to rest for a period of 20 minutes after which 100 microliters is collected with a pipette. The semen is then mixed with a formula that will release the protein known as SP-10 that is contained with the sperm. Measuring the levels of this protein is the primary objective of this test. A few drops of the combined mixture are then placed into two sample wells. In seven minutes, results will appear in the test windows.