A new Do-It-Yourself male fertility test will allow men to check their sperm count in their own time and space. Just like a woman's home pregnancy test kit, the male fertility test works to provide instant results and can be bought in the UK for the first time.
An electron microscope image shows sperm from human donors that posses only the mutated DEFB126 gene have a significantly reduced quantity of negatively charged sugars (green fluorescence) on their surface.
Boots stores in Britain began selling the SpermCheck fertility kit last weekend. The US-designed sperm count kit will only take 10 minutes to produce results. It will indicate whether a man's sperm count is average or below normal. SpermCheck makers said the test is 98 per cent accurate.
Although the test can give a man's sperm count, it cannot determine sperm health, unlike fertility tests in hospitals.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) average for normal sperm count is 20 million or more sperm per millilitre.
Male fertility is declining, according to a research study published in Dec. 2012. The average sperm count dropped by a third between 1989 and 2005. The researchers from the Institut de Veille Sanitaire in St Maurice studied 26,000 men and showed that the low sperm count increases their risk of infertility.
The study also found that the number of healthy sperm declined by the same proportion. The findings of the male fertility study were published in the Human Reproduction journal. The study confirmed similar findings in the past 20 years that suggests sperm counts were dropping around the world.
Many reasons were cited for the decline in sperm count, including environmental toxins and tight underwear, but no specific cause has been verified. The European Commission has established a working group known as Reprotrain to address the growing crisis of male infertility.
SpermCheck Chief Executive Ray Lopez said the test can "help couples suffering from infertility." He said that in most cases, women were always carrying the burden of finding out what's wrong with her body, but according to research, 40 to 60 per cent of the cases blamed male infertility.
The "quickie" male fertility test can be bought for 29.99 British pounds.
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