There is no pleasant way to perform a male fertility test. Agreeing to subject one’s self to the close supervision of watchful doctors and nurses is tough enough, but following through is another story. When it comes to driving to a fertility clinic, grasping a receptacle, shutting one’s self in a sterile room, and doing what needs to be done, so to speak, embarrassment is an all-too-common barrier.
That poses an obvious problem for men — and their spouses — worried about potency. Historically, swallowing pride was the only answer, but thanks to technological and medical advances, male fertility tests now come in the form of home kits that sync with your smartphone.
The YO Sperm Test from Medical Electronic Systems is a $50 male fertility kit that is FDA approved for at-home use. It includes everything needed to collect a sample, including a sample collection cup, a testing slide, a plastic pipette, and a special liquefying powder. A mini-microscope attaches to a smartphone’s camera and measures sperm motility — the ability to move spontaneously and actively — and count, and even lets interested parties watch swimmers on their smartphone’s screen.
Once the supplies are assembled and the sample produced, users mix the aforementioned powder into the collection cup, swirl it around for 10 to 15 seconds and let it rest for 10 minutes. After a bit of the sample’s piped onto the slide and inserted into the clip, the app takes and analyzes a 30-second video.
The commercial-grade semen analyzer is 97 percent accurate, the company says, and the results are encrypted in the companion app’s special health report vault. It’s geared specifically toward men who want to know more about their reproductive health, or who want to know if reproductive problems are the result of infertility.
“The explosion of apps and wearables dedicated to optimizing the chance of pregnancy is evidenced [by the fact] that people crave more awareness of their fertility status. However, the bulk of these new technology tools cater to women. No other company is tackling male reproductive health in this manner,” Marcia Deutsch, CEO of Medical Electronic Systems, said in a statement.
“If a man is producing 100 million sperm and they are all dead or not swimming, it’s useless to know your sperm concentration is “normal.” The key is to assess sperm that are moving, as these are the sperm that will fertilize an egg during normal conception,” Deutsch said. “YO is trailblazing a new approach [by] offering consumers valuable and reliable information and bringing clarity to one of life’s biggest moments, that of starting a family.”
The kit is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, and all recent models of iPhone with the exception of the Plus variants. It’s available from the Medical Electronic Systems website.