Conception

Homemade spermiogram to test male fertility: Trak Fertility

Advances in biology and the precision of modern diagnostic kits will soon make it possible to evaluate the quality of sperm through a home test.

This is the first device of its kind and should be available within a year thanks to  two scientists at Sandia National Laboratories .

Greg Sommer and Ulrich Schaff have created a new portable diagnostic kit that allows men to independently test the quality of their fertility with a few drops of sperm. The device manages to deliver the results in just five minutes.

This system that you see in the photo, allows men to perform the spermiogram in the comfort of their own home, avoiding embarrassments and difficulties. According to the two inventors, it is  easy to use and has the accuracy of a laboratory test  

The researchers co-founded a company, Arenaria Diagnostics Inc., in 2012 to develop and commercialize the monitoring kit. The test device, dubbed TrakFertility , could be on the market by early 2015, after the company receives approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Having such a device at home would allow those with fertility problems to monitor changes after treatment. For example during weight loss (in case of obesity) or after specific treatment to improve the quality of sperm, or after varicocele surgery.

Information and education about a healthy lifestyle is a central pillar of Arenaria’s ideology. The   company’s website, trakfertility.com , explains to men the causes of infertility and how positive lifestyle changes can improve the potential for conception.

Through the slogan:  Don’t Cook Your Balls , an attempt is made to inform men about the negative effects of heat on fertility, thus advising them not to spend  too much time in hot tubs and saunas, for example. Sperm cells are sensitive and should remain at a temperature 4 degrees cooler than body temperature to avoid lowering sperm count and motility.

It is also advised to reduce stress, overcome obesity and eat better to eliminate toxins in the body, all of which can contribute to decreased fertility.

Arenaria is currently developing a mobile app to help men track and analyze their test results and connect with doctors.

The goal is to also focus on male fertility problems which are widespread. Half of all fertility problems involve the male partner

Women have a series of tools at their disposal to monitor their fertility: sticks, basal temperature… The whole market is focused on women, underestimating the fact that one in 5 men has a low sperm count, which negatively affects conception.

The company is raising funds to commercialize the kit in early 2015 through its corporate website . The kit will be marketed at prices comparable to those of women’s fertility products.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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