Home Fertility Tests

Submitted by Nick on December 20, 2012

A home fertility test is a process where both a man’s and a woman’s fertility is assessed at home using different methods and testing kits that are available at your local pharmacy. Some of these tests are also used to assess the window of fertility in a woman, that period when she is most fertile and likely to conceive. This allows for easier planning when couples are trying to conceive but can also be used to avoid conception without resorting to birth control.


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Fertility Tests for Men

Fertility tests are not solely the domain of women. Men too can have fertility issues and today, tests are available to check a man’s fertility levels at home. These tests include:

  • Sperm count tests – These tests measure the levels of sperm in a sample of semen.

    In order to conceive, a man should have a sperm count of at least 20 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen. Men who have a lower sperm count can have a problem conceiving. The test kit works by counting the number of sperm cells in the sample. Using the test kit requires you to place a fresh semen sample in the test well of the kit. A dye is then added to the sample. The mixture is left to stand for approximately 15 minutes after which the color of the semen is compared to a control color that comes with the kit. If your sample is darker than the control, it means that your cell count is sufficient for you to conceive.
  • Sperm motility tests – These home kits measure the ability of the sperm cells to penetrate the woman’s cervical mucus. The test works by forcing the sperm to swim through a special barrier that is designed to duplicate a woman’s cervical mucus. The number of sperm cells that penetrate the barrier is then measured. Although expensive, these tests are very easy to use. All that is needed is for you to place a sample of fresh semen in the designated area of the kit. A button is then pressed and the kit left to stand for about an hour, after which the results are displayed. The results allow you to know whether a satisfactory number of sperm cells have made it through the barrier.

Fertility Tests for Women

Home fertility tests for women include methods such as the calendar method and test kits that allow a woman to predict when she is ovulating. They include:

  • Calendar based methods – A woman’s fertile period, that is, the period when she is most likely to conceive, is based on a record of the duration of her menstrual cycles. There are two methods that are popularly practiced, the Rhythm method and the Standard Days Method. There are also computer programs available that can keep a track of the fertility window based on this method which has a proven efficacy of 95%.
  • Ovulation predictor kits – These home kits have become increasingly popular amongst women who are trying to conceive and are easily available from your local pharmacy. These kits predict the period when you are going to ovulate and can be used to increase your chances of conception or even as a method of birth control. These kits can also help you determine if irregular cycles are at the root of your difficulties in conceiving.
    These kits work by measuring the level of luteinizing hormone in your urine. Luteinizing hormone is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that causes the ovaries to release an egg every month. Your body will experience an increase in luteinizing hormone levels about 24 to 48 hours prior ovulation and these predictor kits will determine whether or not that increase has occurred.
    There are different types of kits available. The simplest are those that involve placing a test strip into a sample of urine. The test strip will change color depending on the level of luteinizing hormone in your body. More expensive electronic test kits are also available.
  • Cervical mucus tests – These tests analyze changes in the texture and the consistency f your cervical mucus. Your cervical mucus will become thinner and can stretch further just prior to ovulation, allowing for the easier passage of sperm cells on their journey to the egg. The test actually tests your saliva, which also undergoes changes along with the changes in your cervical mucus. The electrolyte levels in your saliva are measured electronically and help you determine if you are ovulating.

These tests are not foolproof. If you are having trouble in conceiving a child, then it is recommended that both partners consult a doctor or a fertility specialist to determine the cause. If your doctor finds that there is no physiological problem with either of you, he or she may recommend that you use some of these tests to improve your chances of conception.

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