Development of a novel home sperm test

L. Björndahl (Lead / Corresponding author), J. Kirkman-Brown, G. Hart, S. Rattle, C. L. R. Barratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The majority of men find the production of a semen sample an embarrassing and stressful experience. Consequently, the availability of an over-the-counter home sperm test, which would reliably and accurately allow the patient to obtain an assessment of fertility potential at their convenience, would be a major benefit. Our objective was to develop and evaluate a home sperm test that provides a visual estimate of the concentration of progressively motile sperm in a semen sample.

METHODS: Three particular challenges are described (i) developing a visualization system; (ii) optimization of the detection limit; and (iii) controlling variation due to changes in ambient temperature. The accuracy of the device was tested against two reference methods: computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and a hyaluronate migration test (HMT).

RESULTS: In 129 semen samples, where both reference methods agreed (positive or negative), the accuracy of the device was 95%. The observed likelihood ratio of 8.8 indicated that a sample showing a red line in the device was over eight times more likely to have a positive (normal) result in CASA and HMT than a sample without a red line.

CONCLUSIONS: The final device provides a visual estimate of the concentration of progressively motile sperm in a semen sample using a test that is completed within approximately 1 h of production of the sample and can be used by the man in the comfort of his own home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-9
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Care/instrumentation
  • Sperm Count/instrumentation
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa/cytology


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