Jeff and Erica want a baby, but after over a year of trying Erica is still not pregnant. Jeff was shocked to learn that the problem might be his. After doing a bit of research, he understands that he might not have adequate sperm. Jeff wants to use a sperm test kit at home first and see what that shows before going any further. He is not quite ready for the potential embarrassment of seeing his doctor about this issue.
One-third of the time couples are unable to get pregnant due to male infertility. An additional 20% of the time it is both the man and the woman, and 10% of the time the cause is unknown.
There are a few facts about testing sperm that you should understand. A semen analysis done by your doctor will evaluate all three of the following:
- Amount of semen (volume)
- How many sperm (sperm count)
- The quality of those sperm (shape and movement)
Is There A Sperm Test Kit I Can Do At Home?
Yes, but home sperm tests will only tell you if the sperm count is in the “normal” range (above 20 million sperm per milliliter). They do not give any specific numbers of how many sperm are actually present. And they tell you nothing about the volume of semen and quality of the sperm.
What are the advantages of a home sperm test kit and what does it tell you?
- It is simple to use, and you will have results in minutes
- A positive test result means you have more than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen
- A negative test result means you have less than 20 million sperm and a low sperm count
- This test can be done in the privacy of your own home, you can avoid possible embarrassment, and you do not have to rush the sample off to a lab
What are the limitations of a home sperm kit?
- First, always do the test at least 3 times, on 3 different days. Ideally once each month for 3 months. Semen samples vary from day to day. Do not assume you have a problem after just one test.
- If the test is negative all three times, you should be highly suspicious that you may have a fertility problem. See your doctor for a more thorough evaluation.
- If the test is positive all three times, you probably do not have a low sperm count. However, this test does not assess the shape and movement of your sperm. You also do not know if the amount of semen you produce is normal. These factors can also cause male infertility.
The bottom line is that you should go to your doctor and have a thorough evaluation done. But in the meantime, you can use this simple test to collect some information. Then use the results, plus the knowledge you have gained here, to help get you motivated. If you or your female partner are over 35 years of age and you have been trying to conceive for over 6 months, take action now.
It is very important to understand that good nutrition and lifestyle choices have a very big influence on your overall health and your fertility. The principles of good health discussed to support female fertility in other articles also support the man.
To Your Vibrant Health!
Veronica Tilden, D.O.