The Sperm Concentration Rapid Test is a test to estimate the sperm concentration in human semen. It should be used as an extra aid in identifying reasons why you are having trouble conceiving. It measures sperm concentration and will indicate whether it is above or below the required concentration for successful pregnancy.
A low sperm concentration would indicate you have less likelihood of conception. If you get a low result, then see your doctor to discuss what can be done to increase your sperm.
- This kit can only be used to test human semen.
- The kit should be stored at room temperature, avoiding areas of excess moisture. Once opened then use immediately.
- When adding the sperm specimen, staining solution and washing solution, try to avoid any bubbles as this could adversely affect the test results.
- Follow the “time” instructions carefully.
SPECIMEN COLLECTION AND PREPARATION
- Before testing, it is important that you refrain from any sexual activity for 3-7 days. This ensures that the volume and quality of sperm is at its peak and an accurate determination of sperm concentration.
- Shake the collection container to ensure the powder is at the bottom before starting collection.
- Using masturbation, collect the semen directly into the sperm collection cup.
- Take care not to contaminate the sperm by letting it come in to contact with hands or tissues or any other materials.
- Shake the semen gently in the semen collection cup and allow to stand for 15 minutes at room temperature until the semen liquefies. Do not use semen stored for more than 12 hours.
- Remove the test panel from the foil pouch and lay it horizontally on a flat surface. Using the dropper provided in the foil pouch, dispense one drop of semen into test well marked “A”.
- Once the semen is dropped into well “A”, add three drops of the blue staining solution to test well “A”. Let it soak for 1-2 minutes.
- Now add two drops of the transparent washing solution to test well “A”, and let it soak for 1-2 minutes, and then read the results immediately.
- Read the colour of test well “A”, comparing the colour of test well A to reference well B. The darker the colour of well A, the higher the sperm concentration.
READING THE RESULTS
(Compare the colour of test well A to reference well B)
The colour of test well A is darker than the standard colour of reference well B. It means that the sperm concentration is greater than 15 million/ml and regarded as normal. The likelihood of conception is high with this concentration.
The colour of test well A is lighter than the standard colour of reference well B. It means that the sperm concentration is less than 15million/ml. This is known as oligospermia (a range that is normally between 5million/ml and 15million/ml). The likelihood of conception is less with this sperm concentration and further medical consultation is recommended.
NOTE: If well A is colourless, it means the sperm concentration is less than 5 million/ml or zero. This condition is known as azoospermia.
If you are unsure of the result or you feel the result is abnormal you should repeat the test using the second test that is included in the pack but make sure you do not ejaculate through any sexual activity for 6 days before carrying out the second test. If the second test is also abnormal, you should discuss the results with your doctor or medical professional.
Sperm concentration is just one of the important tests for fertility. But other tests of semen like motility and morphology as well as ovulation in females are also important. For the cases of infertility, it is recommended that other tests are also taken in consideration.
Why is the timing of the tests so important?
The fresh semen is viscous (sticky or gummy), and normal semen needs to be incubated for 30-60 minutes at 37°C to liquefy completely. Only in liquid state, can the semen be used for the test, because the viscous semen cannot completely pass the membrane of the test well. The powder at bottom of the semen collection cup can make the semen liquefy quickly within 15 minutes. If the storage time of sperm specimen is too long, it may cause lysis of sperm (breaking down of membrane of the cell), which may affect accuracy of the results.
How long does the semen and staining solution need to be in the test well?
In general, they may pass the membrane of the test well within several seconds, if they cannot pass the membrane completely after 5 minutes, which shows that the semen has not liquefied completely, or density of the sperm is too high, then you should repeat the test. The reasons of semen non-liquefaction may be that the enzyme in the semen collection cup becomes invalid or the user does not use the semen cup correctly or there is some other cup used for semen collection.
Are the solutions used for test safe?
The concentration of the staining fluid is less than 10ug/ml and therefore is very dilute and will not cause harm.
Does an abnormal result mean I can’t have children?
Sperm concentration is only one of several aspects of testing sperm. There are other factors that should be taken into account such as motility. If you get an abnormal response, then see your doctor for them to follow up for you. They may do more tests on your sperm.
What can cause a wrong test result?
Any mistake in collecting the sample, such as having sex just before doing the test, or not following the times required during the test could lead to incorrect results.