Women, especially those with higher education, are having children at later ages as they focus more on their education and careers. The US Census reports these women are more likely to delay having children until their 30s. As a result, however, fertility has become a larger and larger concern when trying to conceive as getting pregnant becomes more difficult and having complications becomes more likely. In fact, 7.3 million women every year have difficulty becoming pregnant.
In a new twist, Walgreen’s and CVS will soon be selling take-home fertility tests for men. While much of the focus now is on women, this test allows men to check at home whether or not they have enough sperm. The test, SpermCheck Facility, is retailing for $40 and its makers are banking that couples struggling to have children will take the test before going in to get checked at the doctor. The test measures sperm count and any result that indicates low sperm count should prompt the users to speak and get tested with their physician.
It is important to note the limitations of this test. Standard tests also include measurements of vitality and mobility in addition to count. While SpermCheck may measure sperm quantity, it does not measure sperm quality. Also, tests are usually conducted twice as sperm counts can vary dramatically.
In an era of rising medical costs, this service may help men who are trying to conceive avoid doctor’s offices if their sperm count is normal, not to mention the time wasted in waiting rooms.