A ball representing a human egg with sperm shapes surrounding it on a light orange background

Can I Test Male Fertility at Home?

By Simona Byler
June 25, 2024

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again–it takes two to tango! The traditional view of fertility as a uniquely female issue is outdated. Fertility difficulties are common, affecting 9 percent of men and 11 percent of women of reproductive age in the U.S. (1) So, if you and your partner have been struggling to conceive, it might be time to check in with your fertility—both male and female.

Luckily for us all, at-home tests are making it easier, more affordable, and more comfortable to learn about your fertility. So today we’re diving into all things male fertility—sperm fertility tests, supplements for male fertility, advantages of testing at home, and more.

How is male fertility tested?

Before we discuss at-home testing, let’s take a look at what clinical male fertility tests involve. The goal is the same, but the process is a little different! At a doctor’s office, preliminary testing for male fertility usually involves:

  • Physical exam and medical history: Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you questions about factors that can influence your fertility. These factors include chronic health problems, inherited conditions, injuries or surgeries, and sexual health and habits.
  • Semen analysis: A semen analysis is the most common test for assessing male fertility. It measures sperm count (the number of sperm), motility (how well the sperm move), morphology (the shape of the sperm), and more! A semen sample is collected and analyzed under a microscope to evaluate these factors.

If your semen analysis comes back normal, you’ll likely shift attention to your partner’s fertility indicators. If not, your doctor can recommend more tests to help figure out the cause of your infertility. Further male fertility tests can include:

  • Hormone Testing: Hormones such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and sometimes prolactin play crucial roles in sperm production. Blood tests can measure the levels of these hormones to identify any imbalances that might affect fertility.
  • Genetic Testing: Some fertility issues are linked to genetic conditions. Genetic testing can identify specific mutations or chromosomal abnormalities that might impact sperm production or function.
  • Testicular Biopsy: If your sperm count is extremely low, there aren’t any sperm in your semen, or if your other lab results are inconclusive, your doctor might recommend a testicular biopsy. This involves taking a small tissue sample from the testicles to examine sperm production directly.
  • Imaging Tests: Ultrasounds and other imaging tests can detect blockages or structural issues in the reproductive organs that might affect fertility.

What is a sperm fertility test?

If you have ovaries, your fertility depends on a ton of different factors. And while male fertility is mostly dependent on sperm, that doesn’t mean it’s not complicated! Sperm are complex little fellas, and a sperm fertility test—also called a semen analysis—is an essential tool for assessing male fertility.

Sperm fertility tests can analyze a few different aspects of the sperm, including:

  • Sperm count: Your sperm count is how much sperm is in the semen. A normal sperm count is typically considered to be at least 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. (2) That’s a lot of swimmers!
  • Sperm Motility: Motility refers to the percentage of sperm that are moving and how well they move. Sperm have a long way to travel to reach a female’s egg, so good motility is crucial for fertilization.
  • Sperm Morphology: Sperm morphology means the shape and structure of the sperm. Normal sperm have an oval head and a long tail, similar to a tadpole! Abnormal shapes can make it harder for sperm to reach an egg and break through its outer layer for fertilization.

In a clinical setting, sperm fertility tests can also look at the volume and pH of the semen, sperm vitality—or the percent of living sperm in a sample—and the presence of white blood cells, which can indicate an infection or inflammation. (3) Considering all the factors that influence male fertility, taking a sperm fertility test is a simple step to ensure you're doing everything possible to conceive.

Can you test male fertility at home?

We’re excited to say yes, you can test male fertility at home! 🥳 There are a few different FDA-approved at-home sperm tests available, and we’re so glad to add one to our reproductive health arsenal.

If you or your partner were wary of in-office male fertility tests, at-home tests offer plenty of advantages—while still delivering accuracy and detailed analysis. These tests involve collecting a semen sample and using the kit to analyze the sample at home. No doctor’s office awkwardness or embarrassment required.

Advantages of testing male fertility at home include:

  • Convenience: Learn about your fertility on your schedule. With at-home tests, you don’t need a doctor’s appointment or deliver your sample to a lab.
  • Accessibility: With sperm fertility tests available online, anyone who’s having trouble conceiving can check in on their sperm.
  • Privacy: Not interested in ejaculating in a doctor’s office? That’s understandable, and no longer necessary with at-home tests.
  • Price: In-office male fertility tests can be expensive and add extra stress to your fertility journey. Testing at home can be an easier, less stressful, and more affordable option.

Testing male fertility at home is a great way to better understand how your sperm are doing. But, these tests aren’t as detailed as clinical testing. If you’re concerned about your at-home test results, follow up with a healthcare professional to see if you need a more thorough evaluation.

How do you treat male infertility?

If you’re having trouble getting your partner pregnant, treatment options do exist! Treatments for male infertility depend on the cause. But, even if the exact cause isn’t clear, your doctor can still offer recommendations to help you conceive. Wondering how to increase male fertility? Let’s look at some of the options.

Lifestyle Changes: Great news! Simple lifestyle changes can significantly impact your fertility. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and reducing stress can all improve sperm quality.

Medication: If a hormonal imbalance is affecting your sperm quality, your doctor can recommend hormone therapy or medication to help regulate the imbalance. Some infections can also impact your fertility and you might need antibiotics to treat an infection of the reproductive tract.

Supplements: Male fertility supplements can have substantial positive effects. An easy place to start is with Wisp Lift for Him—some of the ingredients can boost testosterone and sperm production! Besides that, studies show antioxidant supplements help, especially if you and your partner are pursuing assisted reproductive technology (ART). (4)

Specifically, studies show that carnitine improves sperm motility and morphology, vitamins E and C reduce sperm DNA damage, and CoQ10 and alpha-tocopherol improve sperm count. Look for supplements with these antioxidants plus zinc, folic acid, and selenium! (5)

Assisted reproductive technology (ART): Procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are fantastic options if you’re having trouble conceiving. These methods involve collecting sperm and combining it with an egg in a controlled environment.

How to talk to your partner about fertility testing

We know how hard it is to struggle with infertility—and we want you to know that you’re not alone. Millions of couples in the U.S. experience fertility problems, with one-third due to male factors, one-third due to female factors, and one-third due to both. (6) That’s why it’s important to explore all possible causes of infertility, allowing you to discover what treatments and options will help your unique situation.

If your partner is hesitant to test their fertility, open communication is key. Set aside time to talk and discuss the importance of fertility testing for both men and women. Listen to their concerns, be open and honest about yours, and seek professional guidance if the going gets tough. Remember, it’s no one’s fault. You’re on this fertility journey together—and there’s plenty to learn along the way.

Hers & His Advanced Fertility Kit comes with everything you need to test your fertility—and your partner’s. With the increase of at-home testing options, gaining insight into male fertility is easier and more convenient than ever. Here at Wisp, we sincerely hope this reduces the hesitancy to test, making your fertility journey a little bit smoother to navigate.

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