Considering taking one of our at-home sperm tests, but got a few questions? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the answers to the most commonly asked questions about our test – from how it works, to what happens after your results.
How does the at-home sperm test work?
From your side, it’s pretty simple! You produce a semen sample into the cup, use the pipette to put a few drops onto the slide, then insert the slide into the ExSeed device. You then use your smartphone to record footage of the sample, and within a few minutes your sample will be analysed and the results available. Here’s a video that takes you through the whole process.
Whilst it’s simple and easy for you – behind the scenes there is some amazing technology at work. Your phone is basically performing microscopy, similar to the process they use in laboratories. We have worked with some of the most prominent fertility labs in the world to check the quality of our results and our test has been CE certified as an IVD medical device with accuracy of 95%!
What does the test measure?
We created our at-home sperm test to measure the same metrics you would get tested at most fertility clinics – making it a great first stop on your fertility journey. Firstly we measure the semen volume (the amount of semen you’re producing per ejeculate), the concentration (how many of your swimmers are hanging out in the semen) and the sperm motility (how many of your swimmers are moving and moving right!) From there we figure out the total motile sperm count – how many good moving sperm cells there are in one ejeculate. Total motile sperm count (or TSM) has been proven to be the best indication of the chance of conceiving – so it’s a really good stat to know! And this measure is used in any fertility clinic or lab to find out how fertile you are.
When is the best time to do an at-home sperm test?
The beauty of our test is that you can take it whenever and wherever suits you – but there is one small caveat to that, and it involves ejaculation. If you give a sample too soon after having sex, it won’t give your semen depots enough time to refill. However, if you leave it too long your swimmers might get overheated and a bit lethargic! The optimum time to take your test is around 48-72 hours after last ejaculating – so testing around 2-3 days after you last had sex (or masturbated if you’re flying solo!) will give the most accurate picture of how your sperm health is doing.
Do I have to masturbate or can I give a sample after sex?
This is a great question. Again, one of the best things about at-home sperm tests is that you don’t have to try and masturbate in a cold doctor’s office with some ancient porn magazines. You can do it in the comfort of your own home and with your partner there for inspiration if you like! However, we do recommend that you give a sample directly from masturbation, rather than after sex – as it’s hard to guarantee you’ll be able to get your full deposit in the cup in time (no matter how strong your pull out game is.) If you do want your partner involved, they could either give you a helping hand (literally) or just be in the room with you, to get you in the mood. One note though – don’t use any creams or lubricants as this could mess with your result!
What happens if I don’t test my sample straight away?
Your swimmers can live between 3-5 days within a woman’s cervix, but in a sperm sample cup their lifespan is not as long. We recommended testing your sample after 15 minutes but within 60 minutes, otherwise, the sperm cells may die, leaving you with a potentially disappointing (and inaccurate) result. If you’ve left your sample for more than 60 minutes, get rid of it and wait a few days to do another test – let’s face it, no one wants a cup of sperm just hanging out on their bedside table all day anyway.
How many at-home sperm tests should I take initially?
When you first start testing with ExSeed we recommend taking two tests around a week or so apart. This is because sperm quality varies naturally on different days, with various factors, including sickness, impacting your swimmer’s performance. Looking at two results in a similar time frame will give you a more accurate, overall picture of what is going on with your sperm health. We also suggest taking another test a month later as well – this is what the World Health Organisation recommends too!
After the initial test, how often should I test my sperm quality?
This is a bit more personal – in theory, you could test yourself weekly if you like! However, let’s think about the impact of weighing yourself daily when on a weight loss journey. Not only does it become a bit of an obsessive habit (not great for your mental health) but it can also be disheartening. Your weight might fluctuate day by day, so if the number on the scale isn’t what you want to see, it can ruin your day and make you want to give up on any lifestyle changes you have made. The same can be said for sperm testing.
Generally speaking, sperm rejuvenates every 72-90 days, so it can take that long to see the real impact of the changes you’ve made to your diet and lifestyle. We recommend testing every month and working on your healthy habits in between. This should allow you to track your progress in a sustainable way and keep you motivated. If after three months you aren’t seeing any improvements on your results, you might decide to investigate other causes.
What happens after my results?
We know that testing your sperm is only part of the process of improving sperm health. We also know that if you don’t get the results you’re hoping for, you need support and advice ASAP. After your results, you’ll firstly be given a suggested lifestyle programme based on factors we think could be affecting your sperm health. Based on the information you’ve given us in your lifestyle questionnaire, we’ll recommend a few key areas to focus on – from quitting smoking, to having more sex, cutting down drinking to increasing your vegetable intake. This information comes to you directly through the app, minutes after you’ve got your results. We suggest a priority of changes but you can select the ones you want to go for yourself in the App.
Secondly, if you want more personalised advice or a second opinion on your results, you can access our in-house fertility experts. You can schedule a call or use the chat functionality and one of our team will look over your results personally, and advise you on next steps. If it looks like you have a specific problem, we can also recommend some of our partners who specialise in certain areas of fertility support.
If you have super sperm, we recommend you to give life and become a sperm donor. We’ve partnered up with sperm banks near you – you will find them in the map in the App under Fertility sperm banks near you.
Will I be able to share my results with my doctor?
Yes – and we recommend you do if you decide you need further medical support. You can download a PDF of your results that you can either print out or email over to your doctor.
If you are already a patient in one of our fertility clinic partners, you can also share your results directly on to their database. Simply connect your fertility clinic in the apps settings function, using a Patient Number your clinic will have given you.
Then there’s nothing else for you to do! Your clinic will be able to access your results and lifestyle information on their dashboard whenever they need to and discuss them with you at your next appointment.
Ready to get to know your swimmers up close and personal, You can order your at-home test right here, and if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!