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Can You Test Your Sperm Count with Water?

Testing your sperm count is a crucial step in understanding your fertility and reproductive health. It can provide valuable insights that can guide family planning and address potential fertility issues. While some of you may have heard about a seemingly simple at-home testing method involving water, we’ll delve into the accuracy and reliability of this technique and suggest an alternative with proven results.


The Importance of Sperm Count Testing

Before we assess the legitimacy of the water test method, let’s emphasize why knowing your sperm count matters:

  1. Early Detection of Potential Fertility Issues: Low sperm count ranks among the most common causes of male infertility. By regularly testing your sperm count, you can identify potential issues early, allowing for timely intervention and increased chances of successful conception.
  2. Improved Timing for Conception: Understanding your sperm count helps determine the optimal times for conception attempts. Armed with this knowledge, you can maximize your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
  3. Insights into Overall Reproductive Health: Sperm count testing offers insights into your broader reproductive health. A low sperm count might signal underlying health concerns that need attention. Regular monitoring allows you to track changes in reproductive health over time and take necessary actions.


How to Check Sperm Count at Home with Water

According to the method, to check your sperm count with water, start by collecting your sample, add distilled water in a 1:10 ratio, mix, then observe the semen movement after 10 minutes. Whilst the water test method promises a simple procedure that can be conducted at home, its reliability is evidently poor. We describe the process and our critiques below.


The Supposed Method for the Sperm-Water Test

Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing the water test:

  1. Collect a semen sample in a clean container: Ensure your container is sterile, and avoid any lubricants or condoms that may interfere with the test’s accuracy.
  2. Add distilled water to the sample in a 1:10 ratio: For instance, if you have 1 milliliter of semen, add 9 milliliters of distilled water, creating a 10-milliliter solution.
  3. Mix the sample and water thoroughly: Ensure even distribution of semen throughout the mixture.
  4. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes: This supposedly allows sperm cells to separate from other components of the semen.
  5. Observe the mixture: Analyze how the semen moves in the water. Results can include immediate sinking, sinking after a few minutes, or no sinking at all.


Interpreting Water Sperm Test Results

According to the too-good-to-be-true approach, the following can indicate sperm count:

  • Immediate sinking: This may indicate a low sperm count or poor sperm motility.
  • Sinking after a few minutes: Suggests a moderate sperm count.
  • No sinking at all: May indicate a high sperm count, though it’s less accurate than professional methods.


The Issue with Testing Your Sperm With Water

It’s essential to remember that this method lacks the precision of laboratory testing or microscopic examination. Factors like collection technique, preparation, and interpretation can affect results.

While the water test method may seem convenient, its accuracy remains highly questionable. One of the few studies in this area found that there was no significant correlation observed between values for the ‘Water-test’ and values for the sperm count, as well as with morphology and motility of the sperm. It cannot replace professional sperm count analysis by a qualified healthcare provider. If you’re serious about understanding your fertility, but still want the convenience and speed of testing at home, you could benefit from an at-home sperm test like the clinically-validated ExSeed kit.

In the realm of at-home sperm testing, the ExSeed Sperm Test Kit emerges as a trusted and dependable front-runner. It offers numerous advantages that cater to the needs and preferences of individuals and couples seeking valuable insights into male fertility whilst caring about convenience. These include:


Privacy and Convenience: The ExSeed Sperm Test Kit prioritizes your comfort and privacy. It allows you to collect a semen sample in the privacy of your own home, eliminating any potential discomfort associated with clinical settings.

Anxiety Reduction: Clinical settings can be intimidating, leading to anxiety that’s proven to affect the quality of the sample. The ExSeed home sperm test mitigates this concern, ensuring a relaxed and stress-free experience wherever and whenever you’re most comfortable.

Time Efficiency: Time is of the essence, especially for those with busy schedules. The ExSeed Kit saves you the hassle of travel and appointments, providing a convenient and time-efficient way to assess your fertility.

Measuring and Tracking: Our home sperm test provides thorough sperm health information such as count and motility, vital for understanding your current status and chances of conceiving. It also offers an opportunity for individuals to take proactive steps in managing their reproductive health by connecting you with tailored guidance from healthcare professionals on the most effective ways of improving your personal measurements. Track your sperm over several months to see if the recommended lifestyle changes are positively affecting your sperm health.

Accessibility: Readily available online and performed entirely at home, the ExSeed Kit ensures that individuals, regardless of their geographic location and accessibility needs, can easily get a reliable solution for assessing their fertility.

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More to explore


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.