Men, who don't know when to stop using contraceptive methods after vasectomy, can now resort to a medical home test kit based on a protein discovered at the University of Virginia Health System, called SpermCheck Vasectomy.
The new product line could revolutionize the way men around the world monitor their reproductive status.
"The SpermCheck family of products is intended for use by men on both sides of the fertility equation - those who don't want to father children and those who do," said Dr. John C. Herr, inventor of SpermCheck technology who is professor of cell biology.
SpermCheck Vasectomy is based on antibodies that bind to SP-10, a protein discovered in Herr's laboratory, and is the only FDA approved immunodiagnostic test for monitoring sperm after vasectomy.
The device looks and functions much like a home pregnancy test.
It measures SP-10, which is present at constant levels in each sperm head, and enables men to quickly and accurately monitor their post-vasectomy sterility.
Such monitoring is important because sperm can remain in the male reproductive tract for weeks or months after a vasectomy.
Thus, to avoid unexpected pregnancies, vasectomized men must practice birth control until their sperm count falls below fertility levels.
According to Herr, at-home privacy, convenience and affordability of SpermCheck Vasectomy will boost post-operative monitoring and make it easy for couples to accurately determine when contraception methods are no longer needed.