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How to Use Your Cell Phone to Check Your Sperm Count


(Image: TBIT)

Does your semen contain a sufficiently large number of sperm cells to make fertilization likely? You may no longer have to visit a doctor's office to find out. Researchers in Japan have developed a process that permits a man to examine a sample with a cell phone and get an accurate sperm count. It takes the form of a tiny lens that turns a cell phone camera into a microscope. New Scientist talked to researcher Yoshitomo Kobori about the procedure:

To do a home test, a man would have to wait for around five minutes after ejaculation for the semen to liquefy, then apply a small amount to a plastic sheet and press it against the microscope for inspection. This can be done without getting semen on to the phone, says Kobori.

The process uses the camera to take a 3-second video of the semen, then sends the recording to a lab for analysis. The system is as effective as what's used in fertility clinics:

Kobori says the system works as well as the software used in fertility clinics. In a test, the team ran 50 semen samples through both systems, and got almost identical results.

-via David Thompson


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