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All your at-home sperm test questions answered 

All your at-home sperm test questions answered

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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.

ExSeed Health test scores

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!

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Wearing tight pants and underwear

Studies show that men who wear looser underwear have higher sperm concentration and total sperm count compared to men who wear tighter underwear. So, lose the tight clothes and wear something loose to give your testicles some air.

CONCLUSION: learn more about how heat can affect sperm quality here.


Besides higher mortality rate and various diseases, stress is associated with low sperm quality. Stress is known to be associated with lower testosterone levels and oxidative stress with both playing an essential role in producing and maintaining healthy sperm cells.

CONCLUSION: If you feel stressed, we recommend you get some help so you can have a balanced mental health. For a stress management guide, download the ExSeed app for free and start your personalized action plan today.

Physical activity

Scientific studies show that men who are physically active have better semen parameters than men who are inactive. Fertility specialists also state that regular physical activity has beneficial impact on sperm fertility parameters and such a lifestyle can enhance the fertility status of men.

Prioritizing exercise can help improve your overall health and result in healthy, fast swimming sperm cells that have good chances of fertilizing an egg.

CONCLUSION: Try incorporating exercise in your weekly schedule to you ensure exercising at least twice weekly. We recommend a combination of cardio training and strength exercise. Read more about exercise and male fertility on our blog.


Fast Food
Processed foods damage the health of sperm-producing cells and cause oxidative stress, which lead to poorer sperm quality. Heavy consumption of junk food (every week) can increase the likelihood of infertility since men who consume vast amounts of unhealthy food are at risk of having poor sperm quality. Besides harming your fertility, junk food enlarges your waistline, harms your cardiovascular system, kidneys, and more.

Eating more fruit and vegetables can increase your sperm concentration and motility. It’s important that you consume a healthy diet filled with antioxidants and that you eat vegetables every day. Foods such as apricots and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which improves male fertility by nurturing healthier sperm. Men who are deficient in this vitamin tend to have slow and sluggish sperm.

Sugary snacks/beverages: several times a week Excessive consumption of high sugar items can lead to oxidative stress, which negatively impacts testosterone levels and sperm motility. Sugary snacks and beverages are also highly associated with obesity and low fertility.
CONCLUSION: To boost sperm quality, stay away from fast food, processed food, and sugary snacks or beverages. You need to implement a healthy prudent diet filled with necessary superfoods needed for good sperm production. Check out our guide to Male Fertility Superfoods. For personalized guidance and support on how you can start improving your sperm health, check out the Bootcamp.


Direct heat can inhibit optimal sperm production and cause Sperm DNA damage. Sperm cells like environments that are a couple of degrees lower than body temperature. Avoid overheating from warm blankets, seat warmers, heat from your laptop, hot showers, and saunas.

Cigarette smoking

The exposure to tobacco smoke has significant negative effects on semen quality. The damage of cigarettes and nicotine of course depends on how many cigarettes you smoke per day and for how long, but even low usage (up to 10 cigarettes / day) can inhibit healthy sperm production.  

CONCLUSION: Stay as far away from cigarette smoking as possible if you care about your general health and your fertility. Read more here.

Cell phone

When you have your cell phone in your front pocket, your testicles are exposed to electromagnetic radiation, which studies have shown to damage the sperm cells. Put your phone in the back pocket of your pants or in your jacket pocket.


There is a clear association between obesity and reduced sperm quality. At least part of the reason for this is that obese men may have abnormal reproductive hormonal profiles, which can impair sperm production and lead to infertility. 

A BMI higher than 30 can lead to several processes in the body (overheating, increase in oxidative stress in the testes, sperm DNA damage, erectile dysfunction) that can have a negative impact on male fertility. This can result in problems when trying to conceive.  

CONCLUSION: BMI is one of the risk factors that influence semen quality and, for example, sperm motility.  


A beer or glass of wine now and then do not really harm sperm quality. But excess alcohol drinking (more than 20 units per week) can reduce the production of normally formed sperm needed for a successful pregnancy.

CONCLUSION: If you want to stay safe, stay under 14 units of alcohol per week. For more information on how alcohol can affect male fertility, take a look at our blog: “Alcohol and Sperm Quality”.


Studies show that women younger than 35 and men younger than 40 have a better chance of getting pregnant. Men can produce sperm cells almost through their entire life, but the sperm cell DNA is more fragile and prone to damage after the age of 40.

As men age, their testes tend to get smaller and softer resulting in a decline in sperm quality and production. These changes are partly because of an age-related decrease in testosterone level, which plays a very important role in sperm

production. Higher male age (>40 years) is not only associated with a decline in sperm production but also with increased sperm DNA fragmentation and worsened morphology (shape) and motility (movement). These negative effects make the sperm cells less qualified for egg fertilization.

CONCLUSION: with an age under 40, you shouldn’t have to worry much about age as a factor in itself. However, studies have shown a slow decline after the age of 30-35 years

and if you are above 40 years of age, your sperm quality can be affected due to increased sperm DNA damage resulting in a decrease of sperm motility and concentration. Remember that you cannot evaluate the quality of a sperm sample by just looking at it – this requires a sperm analysis.