Disclaimer: The DIY fertility test mentioned in this article is not a substitute for a medical evaluation and should only be used as an initial screening tool.
Are you and your partner trying to conceive but haven’t had much success yet? While infertility affects both sexes, male factor infertility accounts for about 40% of cases. One common factor affecting male fertility is a low sperm count. But did you know that you can do a simple DIY fertility test at home to get an idea of your sperm count? In this article, we’ll explain how to do it using water and give you some tips on what to do next if your results indicate a low sperm count.
Understanding Sperm Count
Before we dive into the DIY fertility test, let’s first understand what sperm count is and how it affects male fertility. Sperm count, also known as sperm concentration, refers to the number of sperm cells present in a given amount of semen. It’s one of the key factors that determine male fertility since a higher sperm count increases the chances of fertilizing an egg.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a “normal” sperm count as 15 million or more sperm per milliliter of semen. However, this is just a general guideline, and other factors such as sperm motility and morphology (shape) also play a role in determining fertility.
How to Do a DIY Fertility Test Using Water
So, how can you determine your sperm count without visiting a doctor or clinic? All you need is a few simple supplies:
– Container – A clear glass/container that can hold at least 5ml of fluid
– Water – Distilled water or tap water that has been boiled and cooled to room temperature
– Timer – A stopwatch or phone timer
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Collect semen – Ejaculate into a clean, dry container and allow it to liquefy for about 20 minutes.
2. Dilute semen – Add an equal amount of water to the semen. For example, if you collected 1ml of semen, add 1ml of water and mix well.
3. Mix thoroughly – Stir the mixture well for at least 10 seconds to ensure that the semen and water are fully combined.
4. Observe and time – Pour the mixture into a clear glass or container and observe it closely. The sperm will start to swim around, and you should be able to see some movement. Start the timer and count the number of swimming sperm cells you see within one minute.
5. Calculate – Multiply the number of swimming sperm cells by the total volume of the mixture (semen + water) to get an estimate of your sperm count per milliliter (ml) of semen.
For example, if you collected 2ml of semen and added 2ml of water to dilute it, your total volume would be 4ml. Let’s say you counted 30 swimming sperm cells in one minute. To calculate your sperm count per ml, multiply 30 by 4, which gives you 120 million sperm per ml.
What Your DIY Fertility Test Results Mean
So, what do your results mean? A sperm count of 15 million or more per ml is considered normal, while counts below this may indicate low sperm count or oligospermia. Keep in mind that a single DIY fertility test may not be completely accurate since many factors can affect sperm count, such as recent ejaculation, illness, stress, etc. Therefore, it’s best to repeat the test several times over the course of a few weeks and take the average of your results.
What to Do If Your Results Indicate Low Sperm Count?
If your DIY fertility test results indicate a low sperm count, it’s essential to consult a doctor or fertility specialist for a comprehensive evaluation. They may recommend additional tests to determine the cause of your low sperm count, such as a semen analysis, blood tests, genetic testing, etc. Depending on the underlying cause, treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, or assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
While a DIY fertility test using water may not be as accurate as a medical evaluation, it can be a useful initial screening tool to get a general idea of your sperm count. If your results indicate a low sperm count, don’t panic. There are many effective treatments available to improve male fertility, and with the right guidance and support, you and your partner can increase your chances of conceiving.