The SpermCheck Fertility home testing kit for men is literally the latest development in home sperm counting technology. The product was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration only in May 2010, and was due to go on the market in July 2010. SpermCheck's producers say the male fertility test is the best of its kind, because it measures sperm count based on sperm-specific proteins in a semen sample, and because it is so quick and easy to use.
How It Works
The small SpermCheck device, based on technology developed at the University of Virginia, requires only a few droplets of semen to provide a sperm count reading. It takes 10 minutes to produce a result. The readings are broken down as follows:
Fertile - which means that the semen sample has more than 20 million sperm cells per milliliter.
Subfertile - which means that the semen sample contains between 2 and 20 million sperm cells per milliliter. The medical name for this is oligiospermia.
Infertile - which means that there are fewer than 2 million sperm cells per milliliter of the semen sample. The medical name for this is azoospermia.
Men who get readings in the subfertile or infertile range are advised to repeat the test in a few days time, and then consult a doctor about their results. Sperm levels can fluctuate, so a man who receives a low reading should not assume that he definitely has a fertility problem - further testing is required.
The SpermCheck Fertility kit costs $40. In addition to the low price and quick results, the producers of SpermCheck say that the test's method of counting the amount of the sperm-specific biomarker SP-10 present in the semen sample, as opposed to counting the number of sperm cells in the sample, makes SpermCheck a more accurate home sperm count test. They claim the test is 95% accurate.
Although low sperm count is a factor in 89% of male infertility cases, it is not the only factor. A man may have a normal sperm count but his sperm cells may be malformed or very weak, and therefore unable to swim or to penetrate an egg cell. Such problems cannot be indicated by the SpermCheck test. Therefore, based on test results, a man might assume that he is fertile when actually he's not.
Therefore SpermCheck is recommended only as a first step in fertility testing. If you have been trying to get your partner pregnant for over a year without success, you should consult a doctor in addition to using SpermCheck to test your fertility level.