Swimming sperm shapes on a yellow background

Test Sperm At Home

By Simona Byler
July 1, 2024

Did you know that humans are considered to have low reproductive capacity as a species? You’re most likely to get pregnant during the first month of trying and the odds are still only around 30 percent. (1) Pretty wild, right? Luckily, we’ve also got a pretty good idea of what factors impact our fertility and how to bend the odds in our favor—to an extent.

The first step in taking control of your fertility is to understand it through testing. Traditional sperm analysis tests happen in a doctor’s office. Now, there are FDA-approved sperm tests you can take at home. Humans might not have the same reproductive capacity as bunnies, but we sure are smarter! Keep reading to learn why you should test your sperm and how at-home sperm tests work.

Why should you test your sperm?

Alright, quick pregnancy 101 lesson here! To get pregnant, one healthy sperm has to fertilize a female’s egg. A female normally releases a single egg each month. In shocking comparison, a healthy sperm count is over 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. With those numbers, you might wonder why you should test your sperm!

Turns out, there are a ton of reasons you should take a sperm test. Sperm can have plenty of problems that affect your fertility—including sperm count, motility (how well they move or swim), and morphology (shape). Making sure your swimmers are healthy is a crucial part of the pregnancy equation! Let’s take a look at some specific reasons to test your sperm below.

Track sperm health

Plenty of different factors influence sperm quality. Lifestyle choices, diet, drug and alcohol use, and exposure to chemicals or medical treatments can all affect your sperm. By testing your sperm early and often, you can track your sperm health over time and make any changes necessary to improve it. Identify fertility issues early

Male fertility issues are more common than many might think. In about 30 percent of couples struggling to conceive, male factor infertility is the sole cause. Taking a sperm test allows you to find and address any potential issues–the earlier in your fertility journey, the better!

Age-related concerns

Contrary to common belief, men aren’t perfectly fertile throughout their entire adult life! Men over age 40 are 30 percent less likely to conceive than men under age 30. (2) But, regardless of your age, testing your sperm is an important step if you’re having trouble conceiving.

Peace of mind

Feeling uncertain about your and your partner’s fertility is stressful. Testing your sperm at home is a great way to relieve this stress! You’ll find out if your sperm health is within the normal range–so you can make the next best step on your fertility journey.

Inform your decisions

Once you understand your sperm health, you and your partner can make informed decisions about family planning. Maybe you continue trying to get pregnant naturally, or maybe you pursue one of the many other options–such as at-home insemination or assisted reproductive technology.

Can you test sperm at home?

We’re happy to say that you can absolutely test your sperm at home! You might still choose to follow up with a doctor after receiving results, but testing kits are an easy starting point to learn more about your fertility. Plus, the best at-home sperm tests are 99% accurate and measure important indicators of sperm health.

A 2020 clinical update reported–and validated–some super interesting points about at-home sperm tests, including:

  • Many men feel too embarrassed to go through with a clinical sperm test
  • At-home sperm analysis tests offer a faster and more affordable tool for evaluating factors of male fertility
  • Sperm test kits provide valuable information about sperm concentration and motility, though they aren’t as comprehensive as clinical tests
  • The privacy, convenience, and affordability of at-home sperm tests appeal to men who are unwilling to test their fertility at a doctor’s office (3)

So, if you or your partner were hesitant about in-office sperm analysis testing, know that you’re not alone and you have options! Here at Wisp, we now offer at-home fertility tests for men and women—skip the waiting room and test your sperm at home.

How does at-home sperm testing work?

Okay, so we’ve covered that you can test your sperm at home, but how does it actually work? Like all good things, it depends! There are a few different types of sperm test kits, so let’s look at the details.

Choose your testing kit: Some at-home sperm tests measure more factors than others! We recommend choosing a kit that tests sperm concentration—the number of sperm per milliliter of semen—and sperm motility.

Collect your sample: A pretty buttoned-up way to say it, but you get the idea! Each test will include a sterile collection container for you to collect your semen sample via masturbation. Follow the instructions carefully to make sure you get the most accurate results. You shouldn’t ejaculate for two to five days (not longer than 1 week) before your test.

Analyze your sample: After you’ve got your sample, follow the test instructions to analyze it using the provided equipment. This process varies, but here are some common at-home sperm analysis methods:

  • Microscope kits: Some kits, like the YO Home Sperm Test, use a mini-microscope that connects to your phone’s camera. You place a drop of semen on a slide, insert it into the microscope, and view the sample through your phone's screen. The YO phone app then analyzes the sperm’s concentration and motility and gives you a video to discuss with a doctor if needed.
  • Chemical kits: Other sperm tests use chemicals to measure your sperm concentration. These tests can work like a COVID-19 test, where you use a dropper to put a drop of semen onto a test strip. Results are ready within 30 minutes or less!
  • Lab kits: Some sperm analysis kits have you collect your sample at home and send it to a lab for analysis. These tests aren’t as immediate but can give you information about your sperm count, motility, and morphology. Lab semen analysis can assess additional factors for semen quality that at-home kits can't always capture for an even more comprehensive evaluation if desired, or if your at-home results come back as irregular.

Understand your results: Your test will include information about how to read your sperm test results, manually or through a connected app. Here are the normal ranges for key aspects your sperm test kit might include:

  • Sperm concentration: This refers to the amount of sperm in your semen. A normal concentration is 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or more.
  • Sperm motility: Motility is how well and quickly your sperm moves. Motility is an important measure because of how far sperm need to travel to reach an egg. At least 40 percent motile sperm is a typical result.
  • Sperm quality: Test kits that use video results, like the YO Home Sperm Test, can compare your sperm to laboratory standards and to other men who have fathered children.

If you’re concerned about your results or not quite sure what they mean, reach out to your doctor for a consultation or further testing.

When should I test my sperm at home?

If you’re under 35 years old and you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year, it’s time for you and your partner to check in on your fertility. And if you’re over 35? Go ahead and test your fertility after six months!

If you’re worried about conceiving or just curious about your and your partner’s fertility, remember that you have options! At-home sperm tests are less stressful and less expensive than clinical testing. That makes them a great option to take as soon as you and your partner are ready. We know it’s easier said than done, but we’re here to support you with education, resources, and services to simplify your fertility.

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