Couples are waiting longer to start their families; most new mothers today are around 27 years old when they have their first child. Our bodies, both male and female, are most fertile the closer we are to puberty, and fertility tapers off as we age. That’s why many couples that are preparing to have a baby decide to get their fertility checked beforehand. This gives each partner peace of mind to know that everything is in working order when you begin trying.
Fertility testing sounds expensive. And it used to be, but not anymore. Technological advancements have allowed the development of lab testing so that it can be done from the privacy and comfort of your own home. Let’s talk about the different male fertility testing options that you can get done at home.
If you have no indications of fertility problems and you’re just curious about whether your semen contains a normal amount of sperm, then you might consider purchasing an at-home sperm test from your local drugstore.
This type of sperm screening test works by detecting a minimum amount of a particular protein that is only found in the head of mature sperm. So the result comes in as pass or fail.
These screening tests don’t give any detailed lab numbers; instead, the results look very similar to a pregnancy test for women, shown as lines on the indicator window. For example:
Over-the-counter sperm screening test kits are an affordable way to rule out low sperm counts, costing less than $50 per test. If you have an abnormal result, then you should consider moving on to the next step up in at-home male fertility testing: a lab-reviewed semen analysis.
If you have reason to believe that your fertility is not up to par, whether for biological reasons or trauma-related injuries, then you may consider having an at-home semen analysis done. For just under $200, with this type of test, you’ll receive a test kit to collect your semen sample at home and then send it into a lab for professional analysis. Here’s Orchid’s version, our partner in fertility testing.
The lab will look at your sample under a microscope, make observations about your sperm quality, and then send results, in the form of real numbers, back to you. The typical parameters that the lab looks at during a semen analysis include sperm count, shape, movement, and other measurements of the seminal fluid.
Read more about the at-home semen analysis test in this blog: Testing Male Fertility: How to Get a Semen Analysis Done At Home, which goes into more depth on this male fertility test, including normal ranges for each measurement.
If you receive an abnormal result from your at-home semen analysis, read this post: What Do I Do If My Fertility Test Comes Back Abnormal?. The first step is usually to re-test. If you’ve received an abnormal semen analysis, consult with our doctors for personalized medical advice to get your fertility back on track.
Semen analyses are not the only fertility testing available for men. You can also get male hormones and blood glucose levels tested to identify whether those are impacting your fertility.
Orchid offers a male hormone test kit that tests your blood with a fingerprick for testosterone, prostate health, and hemoglobin A1C. Like the semen analysis, this test is also collected at home and then sent into a lab to be read by lab technicians who provide numerical results. This affordable option is less than $60 and can show a bird’s-eye view of male hormonal health.
For less than $300, guys can run all three tests above from the comfort of their own homes in order to get a good picture of their fertility. If everything checks out, that’s just reassurance that you’re body is ready when you are.
If not, these tests give you and your doctor insight to work together toward correcting your fertility. If you’ve had an abnormal result and want to consult with our doctors about your fertility, schedule your appointment today.