A company in Japan has developed a kit that allows men to use their phones to check their sperm count in the comfort of their home.
- Birth rates at record lows and ageing population at record highs
- Many men embarrassed to go to a clinic to get a sperm test
- Sperm-test kit costs about $50, comes with special lens and cup
- Men put drop of semen on the lens which is analysed by the app
The kit, known as Seem, aims to turn would-be-dads into scientists, enabling them to check the number and activity of their own sperm using their smartphone’s camera.
With Japan’s population declining rapidly, Seem’s developers say they want to take away the embarrassment felt by many Japanese men who are reluctant to go to a clinic and have their sperm checked
The sperm-test kit costs about $50, and inside there is a microscope lens and a cup.
The lens fits onto the camera of a smartphone.
Men can put a drop of their semen on the lens and record a video, which is analysed by an application on the phone.
“It takes about one to two minutes to send the video and get the result so it’s really easy to do self-check,” said Ryo Irisawa, the developer of the application.
He said the app analyses the movement of sperm on the camera and then gives a read-out about mobility and concentration.
It even displays the data in graph form, so a man can check his sperm count against averages set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We developed this service so couples who are trying to conceive or unmarried men who would like have children in the future could easily check their own sperm count.”
Japanese birth rates at record lows
There is a shortage of babies being born in Japan — birth rates are at record lows and the ageing population at record highs.
Many Japanese couples are putting off having babies until later in life, where infertility becomes an increasing problem.
Japan’s Health Department says it is the male who is infertile in nearly half of the couples who seek treatment for infertility in Japan.
Mr Irisawa said men were often embarrassed to go to a clinic and get a sperm test.
“A man has to go by himself and collect his sperm at a clinic, that’s a big hurdle both mentally and time-wise,” he said.
“In reality, not many men take tests at clinics so this app can make it easier as they can easily do it themselves at home.”