Men could soon be able to test their sperm count from the comfort and privacy of their homes, all thanks to a new technology from the University of Virginia.
Just 10 minutes and few drips of semen will offer men with a more accurate and affordable way to test their sperm count. Called SpermCheck Fertility, the test, received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in May and will be available online in July, and in pharmacies later in the year.
"One of the impediments to male fertility testing is that men are reluctant to go to the doctor or to deal with the whole question of their fertility," ABC News quoted John Herr, inventor of the test and professor of cell biology at the University of Virginia, as saying.
"This test allows the assessment of male fertility to occur in the privacy of the home. It's another step that hopefully will give men a greater chance to control and understand their reproductive functions," he added.
Though male infertility is an issue in 40 percent of infertile couples, fertility testing is still predominantly focused on women, said Herr.
He claimed that the test could hopefully bring more gender equity to fertility testing.
The test has more than 95 percent accuracy whether sperm concentration is in the normal range, (above 20 million sperm per millileter), subfertile range (between 2 million and 20 million), or if the subject may be infertile (less than 2 million).
These ranges are in accordance with the World Health Organization's guidelines for male fertility.
Though the test makes it easier for men to begin investigating their fertility, it can only assess part of the problem.
While sperm count is an issue in 89 percent of male infertility cases, other causes of infertility, such as sperm speed, motility and shape, cannot be measured by the test.