Questions and Answers from SpermCheck® Fertility

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Questions & Answers from SpermCheck® Fertility

Got a question about male fertility, low sperm count or SpermCheck® Fertility? Then read on for some answers

If you think you may have a low sperm count, you may have lots of questions you'd like answering. Read our questions and answers from SpermCheck® Fertility, to see if we can help.

About SpermCheck® Fertility

Q: Why might I use SpermCheck® Fertility?

SpermCheck® Fertility can help take some of the guessing out of the conception process and help you understand any potential issues from an early stage.

Q: What does a positive SpermCheck® Fertility result mean?

A positive result (two lines) indicates that your sperm count is at least 20 million per millilitre, a level that is considered within normal limits. A positive sperm count test result by itself does not guarantee fertility as there are other factors that can influence a man's fertility, however, it will give indication that sperm count is not an issue.

If you are still unable to conceive a baby after 12 months if the woman is under 35 years old or six months if the woman is over 35 years old, both the male and female of the couple should have full fertility evaluations by a professional, even if your SpermCheck® Fertility test result was positive.

Q: How do I read the test results?

Positive Test Result: Seeing a Test Line (at the T Position) in the results window indicates your sperm count is at least 20 million per millilitre. About 90 per cent of fertile men have sperm counts above 20 million per millilitre, and a positive test result indicates that your sperm counts are at the level needed for conception.

Negative Test Result: If you do not see a Test Line (at the T position) in the results window, this indicates your sperm count is less than 20 million per millilitre. On average, 10 per cent of fertile men have sperm counts below the 20 million per millilitre mark.

A negative test is not definitive - consider consulting a Boots pharmacist or your GP about the test results and further sperm analysis, especially if you and your partner have been trying for a baby without success.

There are some simple lifestyle changes that may also have a positive impact on your sperm count. To learn more about how to help increase sperm count, consider tips to increasing your sperm count.

Invalid Test Result: If you do not see a Control Line (at the C position) in the results window, your test did not run correctly and the results are not valid. You should test again with a new sample and a new SpermCheck® Fertility kit. Wait at least 48 hours, but not more than seven days after your last ejaculation to retest.

Q: What does a negative SpermCheck® Fertility result mean?

A negative (one line) result indicates that sperm count is less than 20 million per millilitre, which would likely create conception issues. However, some men with sperm counts below this level are still able to father a baby naturally. It is also important to understand that sperm count can vary from day to day, and can improve with lifestyle changes, so it may be possible to get a positive result if you were to wait a while and take the test again.

You should consult a healthcare professional if your SpermCheck® Fertility test result is negative, particularly on subsequent SpermCheck® fertility home tests.

About low sperm count

Q: Is having a low sperm count common?

A low sperm count is surprisingly common. A common cause of fertility issues is age, yet 64 per cent of babies are now born to fathers aged over 30.

Each year, 3.5 million couples trying to have a baby will have fertility issues. Between 40 and 50 per cent of all infertility problems are directly attributed to the male, and the majority of these are due to low sperm count.

Q: How can I increase sperm count naturally?

In some cases, sperm count may increase if an underlying condition can be identified and treated. However, the following dietary and lifestyle changes can also help increase sperm count:

  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Replace animal fats with monosaturated oils, such as olive oil
  • Avoid cigarettes and any drugs that may affect sperm count or reduce sexual function
  • There's a direct correlation between waist size and testosterone levels. Try to reduce your weight as obesity may be associated with infertility. However so can being underweight - an ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 20 and 25 so try to aim for this
  • Make sure you're getting enough sleep at night
  • Exercise moderately, but regularly (excessive exercise can impair fertility)
  • Although studies indicate that tight underwear is no threat to male fertility, there is no harm in wearing looser clothing (for example switch from briefs to boxers)
  • To prevent overheating of the testes, avoid hot baths, Jacuzzis, steam rooms and using a laptop computer directly on your lap for a long length of time

Q: When should I see a doctor about male infertility?

If you have a negative result on the SpermCheck® Fertility test, either once or on a subsequent test, speak to a Boots pharmacist or your GP.

There is also advice available about when to seek treatment, depending on the woman's age and how long you've been having unprotected sex:

  • Age 35 or younger: See your GP if you haven't conceived after 12 months. A year can seem like a long time, but the majority of younger couples are likely to conceive within a year of trying if there are no other issues.
  • Age 35 or older (or have a history of fertility problems): See your GP after six months of trying. You may still be able to get pregnant, but it may take longer, so don't delay getting help.

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