About 15% of couples are childless and about 50% of these cases may be due to male infertility, according to Urology web. Yet, this is a fact that is difficult for men to accept. In many cultures, male infertility is taboo and can be taken as synonymous to impotence.
Many men suffering from infertility are in denial; many are resistant to the idea of consulting a fertility expert. In many cases, women get to be blames for the childlessness.
This latest innovation from Taiwanese researchers, the so-called male fertility home test kit may just be the perfect way to clarify issues surrounding male infertility. The kit basically measures the efficiency (i.e. motility) of sperm cells and gives a numerical value to the sperms’ ability to reach an egg.
The kit presents a lot of advantages, namely:
- Men can learn about their fertility in the privacy of their own home. They do not need to go through the embarrassment of consulting a health professional.
- Because infertility can be caused by unhealthy lifestyles, men can consider going through lifestyles changes and monitor the effects of these changes in their sperm quality. According to Dr. Andrew Wo, head of the National Taiwan University research team that carried out the study:
- Women now have a way of checking where the infertility problem lies and not just get blamed for it by default. In fact, Dr. Wo believes that the kit will be popular among childless women. “Maybe they think it’s not their fault and they’ll buy the kit for their husbands to show they’re right.”
There are similar products on the market but they are basically for performing sperm counts. This kit is supposedly the first home kit to test for sperm motility.
In the laboratory, male fertility is evaluated through semen analysis and fertility problems may occur if semen quality is poor. Semen is regarded as abnormal if any of the following is present (Source. Urology Web):
- Volume is less than 1.5 ml or greater than 5 ml.
- Sperm concentration is less than 20 x 106 per ml.
- Total sperm number is fewer than 50 million.
- Sperm motility is less than 50%.
- Forward progression and quality are graded below 2 (1-4).
- Sperm morphology reveals less than 30% of oval forms.
With a combination of home kits that count sperms and assess sperm quality, we might just have the first do-it-yourself semen analysis.
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