When a couple is having difficulty conceiving, both partners need to be evaluated to try to pinpoint the cause of fertility problems. Since problems with male fertility are usually related to sperm production, it’s natural for men to want to know how to check male fertility naturally. Fortunately, there are tests men can take at home that can provide an idea on whether sperm count may be low.
Even if you have a normal sperm count, there may be other reasons you’re having difficulty fathering a child. Couples struggling with fertility should keep in mind that seeing a fertility specialist is a better way to obtain a much more thorough evaluation. Compassionate and knowledgeable experts in the field of assisted reproductive technologies can be found at the Center for Reproductive Health.
What Can You Learn From At-Home Tests?
There are several different types of at-home tests that can test semen samples to evaluate the quality and quantity of sperm. Many men like the idea of an at-home test because they feel more comfortable taking a sperm test in the privacy of their own home.
The sample is collected by masturbating into a cup or by wearing a special condom that collects semen during intercourse. For best results, avoid ejaculating for two or more days before collecting a sample. Avoid using lubricants and make sure all your semen makes it into the collection cup.
Some things you may be able to learn from at-home sperm test kits include:
- Total sperm count
- Sperm motility, which refers to how well sperm moves
- Sperm concentration
- Sperm volume
- Sperm morphology or shape
Results from some tests are available in around 45 minutes. Other tests need to be shipped to a lab and typically take two to five days for results. Not all at-home sperm test kits are covered by insurance. If you want to try an at-home sperm test kit, look for one that has been cleared by the FDA, but keep in mind that not all causes of male infertility can be identified by an at-home test kit.
Improving Sperm Count
There are many possible causes of low sperm count. Lifestyle changes may help boost sperm production in some cases. Consume a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats along with food high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. There may be a connection between being overweight and having low sperm count, so it’s a good idea to work on attaining a healthy weight.
Regular physical activity is a critical factor in overall health and may have an impact on your sperm count. If you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle, talk to your doctor about the best way to become more active. Quit smoking and avoid consuming excessive alcohol. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and work on controlling the amount of stress you’re under.
An at-home sperm test isn’t always reliable and can’t replace the comprehensive fertility evaluation provided by the Center for Reproductive Health. Schedule an appointment today.