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The benefits of at home sperm testing, explained

It’ll come as no surprise that we are huge fans of at-home sperm testing. It’s quick, simple, puts you in the driving seat and is a great way to keep your fertility journey on track. Still on the fence? Here are just a few of the benefits of taking sperm tests into your own hands. 

 

Help you get ahead of the game 

 

Many couples don’t want to visit a fertility clinic unless they’ve been trying for a while – which is understandable. Even couples with optimum fertility can take up to 12 months to conceive naturally. Just because you don’t get pregnant straight away, doesn’t always mean there’s a problem. However, we think that a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to these things is the way to go.

In many cases, knowledge is power when it comes to a fertility journey. There’s a whole host of benefits to understanding your sperm health ahead of time. If your swimmers are a little slow or depleted, you can make lifestyle changes that will improve your chances of conception. Sperm regenerates around every 72 days, so you can make big changes over a couple of months, once you know what needs to be done. If there are more serious issues at play, you have time to research fertility treatments and get your head around the potential new game plan. 

At-home sperm testing is a great way to take that first step in understanding your fertility. We’ve even had couples who are a year or two away from trying, take our tests to get ahead of the curve – and feel more positive and in control because of it.  

 

More relaxing – less embarrassing 

 

Let’s face it, between coronavirus and the cold weather, leaving the house is not top of anyone’s priority list right now. Our at-home sperm tests mean you can get a headstart on your fertility journey from the comfort of your own home – no face mask required. Delivered in a slick, discreet box and paired with our cutting edge app, checking out your sperm health is now as easy as placing another lockdown takeaway order.   

We’re big believers that there shouldn’t be any shame in sperm samples – and how you give one. That said, we know that for most guys, masturbating in a cold, grey, doctor’s office is not the ideal way to spend a Thursday afternoon and can be a bit uncomfortable. Doing the test at home helps to remove some of the embarrassment you might be feeling. 

Being in your own space, where you can relax, and have your partner on hand (so to speak) for moral support, can be a much better experience – especially if you’re feeling nervous. 

 

Results are fast and private 

 

Clinics are busy – which means that you can wait to get a referral and then days to get your results. Not only does this delay the opportunity to improve your sperm health, but it also gives you a lot of time to sit around, feeling anxious. Our ExSeed at-home sperm test gives your results in a matter of minutes, so you know exactly what you’re dealing with, straight away. 

We also know that many men dread chatting through their results with a stranger, in what could be an emotionally vulnerable situation. It might also be the first time you’re hearing words like ‘morphology’ and ‘motility’ – so it can be a lot to take in. Having a clear and concise breakdown of your sperm health in the palm of your hand means you can take things at a pace that suits you. You have time to digest results on your own, get familiar with the medical jargon and then decide how and if you want to reach out for support – on your terms. 

 

You can access instant advice and support 

 

If you decide you need advice on improving your sperm health, our experts are on hand to help. Straight after your results, you’ll get access to free personal guides and lifestyle programmes that are tailored to your results and a quick questionnaire you’ll complete. Whether it’s quitting smoking, changing your diet or stepping up your exercise routine, the guides will point you in the right direction and save you time trawling through a million ‘sperm health improvement’ blogs. 

If you want some more clarification on your results or simply fancy a chat to an expert who gets your concerns – you can do that too. Simply book in for a free phone consultation or access the anonymous online chat – whatever makes you most comfortable. 

Unlike regular sperm tests, the whole interaction can be accessed via our app at a time, place and pace that works for you – and the process can move seriously fast. If you’re keen to kickstart your fertility journey, you could do the test, get your results and be making healthy lifestyle changes based on expert advice, within the hour.  

 

 It’s pretty cool

 

You get to see your own sperm. On your phone. Up close and personal. I don’t think we need to say more than that. The coolest thing to happen on your phone screen since that time Peter Crouch retweeted you. 

 

If you want to find out more about at-home sperm testing, or are ready to take the plunge, the ExSeed at-home sperm test is available to order now. 

 

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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.

Stress

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.

Nutrition

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.

Vegetables
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.

Heat

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.

BMI

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.  

Alcohol

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”.

Age

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.