If your only reference for fertility testing involves a scene from a TV show where the guy goes into a sad, wallpapered room in a doctor’s office with an adult magazine, then it’s time to upgrade how you think about testing your sperm.
Welcome to 2019, where you can get just about any test, prescription, or service mailed directly to your door, including fertility tests. A new crop of at-home tests for men like Dadi, Legacy, and YO Sperm are making it easier to find out if your little swimmers are, in fact, still swimming. If they are, Dadi and Legacy will also freeze and store your sperm so that you can rest easy knowing that your legacy will live on.
Where traditional fertility clinics can set you back over $1,000, these startups’ offerings can be a fraction of the price, starting at just $69. Might as well save a few pennies now before your credit card bill is all diapers and baby formula.
While female fertility has long been discussed openly, male fertility is only just now getting into the mix. Given that over 15% of couples can now expect fertility issues when trying to get pregnant, you don’t want to be the other half who can’t hold up their end of the bargain.
When you and your partner are trying to get pregnant, there can be plenty of bumps in the road long before the baby pops out. Typically, the blame for struggling to get pregnant falls squarely on the woman, but men are just as likely to be the root cause.
Knowing about your and your partner’s fertility can provide piece of mind, and these at-home fertility tests are extremely convenient. Let’s dig into what cutting-edge male fertility testing services like Dadi, Legacy, and YO Sperm provide to help you determine which is best for your family.
How do home sperm tests and male fertility kits like Dadi, Legacy, and YO Sperm work?
Image Source: Dadi
So you’ve made the noble decision to test your sperm? Good for you. So now what? With kits like Dadi, Legacy, and YO Sperm, you barely have to leave the bathroom, or bedroom — whichever room sets the mood and allows for a few minutes of blissful privacy.
At-home male fertility kits make the process easy with just five simple steps before you can see results, and in some cases, even store your sperm.
STEP 1: Order a kit.
After a quick registration form online, Legacy, Dadi, and YO Sperm all discreetly ship your fertility kit to your door. Enter your home address for the most discretion, or ship it to your office to let the world know you’re ready for fatherhood — completely up to you.
STEP 2: Deposit your sperm sample.
Now for the fun part. Find something arousing that gets you in the mood, then deposit those swimmers into your kit. In case that went over anyone’s head: this step requires you to ejaculate into receptacle. No need to feel ashamed — it’s completely natural and for a great cause.
STEP 3: Send in your sample or test it yourself.
With Legacy or Dadi, you’ll securely send in your sample to a participating clinic and wait for your fertility results. With YO Sperm, you can test your sperm yourself with their at-home smartphone attachment and mobile or desktop app.
STEP 4: Review your fertility report.
STEP 5: Store your sperm (optional, for future use).
Dadi and Legacy both offer options for cryostorage, allowing you to store your sperm for an annual fee. These companies will freeze your sperm using a special media, then keep it in liquid nitrogen at negative 196 degrees celsius, which allows it to maintain a reasonable quality for many years. Note that YO Sperm does not offer any such storage options.
Who should use an at-home sperm test or male fertility kit like Dadi, Legacy or YO Sperm?
Unfortunately, you might just be one of the 1 in 10 men in the United States who are infertile. But you won’t know until you get yourself tested.
At-home sperm and fertility tests are the right choice if you’re not quite ready to start a family but want to make sure you have the option to. Plus, it’s much more convenient than scheduling a doctor’s appointment that might take you a few months to schedule, trek to the specialist’s office, and go through the awkward process of masturbating into a cup in a sterile room that probably has magazines that date back to before you were born.
In addition to saving you from the awkwardness that is in-clinic testing, companies like Dadi, Legacy, and YO Sperm will also save you a few bucks with fertility kits starting as low as $69.95. That’s about the cost of most Americans’ co-pay for a doctor’s visit, while most lab test will set you back anywhere from $200 – $300, and only 25% of health plans offer any coverage for semen analysis.
But aside from price, which option is best for you, your family, and your budget?
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Now that you have a general understanding of at-home male fertility kits, let’s dive a bit deeper into each provider so you can see which makes the most sense — Dadi, Legacy, or YoSperm.
Dadi is on a mission to make male fertility a thing, and an easy one at that. Its founder, Tom Smith, started the company after a friend’s cancer diagnosis prompted a rushed trip to a fertility clinic to freeze his sperm before he became infertile. Thanks to his clever solution, testing and storing your sperm has never been easier.
With Dadi, you’ll simply order a fertility kit online, wait a few days until it arrives, then deposit your sample at home and refrigerate. When you’re ready, you can drop it off at any FedEx shipping center, and within 24 hours of receiving your sample, a lab technician will evaluate your sample and send a personalized fertility report that overviews your sample.
Metrics include: volume, count, and concentration. You’ll also receive a video of your actual sperm if you really want to nerd out. Purchasing a Dadi kit comes with one year of cryostorage via their partner, the New England Cryogenic Center, so your sperm will be available when and if you choose to use it.
When it comes to pricing, Dadi sits in the middle of the scale between YO Sperm and Legacy. To test your sperm, plus receive one year of storage, you’ll fork over $199.98 — $99.99 for the fertility kit and $99.99 for your first year of storage.
They also have an option to pay monthly ($9.99 for testing and storage respectively, adding up $19.98/month total). And in the event your test comes back infertile, you’ll be refunded the cost of the storage. It’s like their version of a money back guarantee.
Since raising $2 million to develop a modern day fertility testing and sperm storage product, Dadi has gained quite a bit of traction. While you can’t judge a book by its cover (or perhaps a sperm by its swim?), we think Dadi’s branding and easy-to-use website scores it a few extra points in our book.
Overall it offers very solid user experience at a reasonable price, especially for men interested in storing sperm for later use.
You trust the Swiss with your money, so would you trust them with your sperm?
Legacy, a Swiss-created and Harvard Innovation Labs-incubated startup, is trying to change the way people, especially men, think about fertility. Legacy’s founder, Khaled Kteily, started the company after witnessing firsthand how uncomfortable getting your sperm tested can be.
Legacy won TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt Berlin 2018, and since then has been investing in its sperm analysis, overall improvement, and cryogenic storage services.
Legacy offers three different packages, depending on your needs.
Once you’ve selected your package, you’ll receive your kit at home in just 24 hours after ordering. From there, you’ll deposit your sample and schedule a time when Legacy can come collect your sample at home, free of charge.
Your sperm will then be analyzed for motility and morphology, and you’ll get to read all about it with their six-page report. If you’re more of a visual learner, you’re out of luck because Legacy does not provide a live video of your sperm with the report. Shucks.
Should you choose to freeze your sperm, Legacy does everything they can to protect it. They’ll split your deposit into four – two tanks each in two geographies – and store them in disaster-proof facilities with 24/7 security so your sperm (and you!) can sleep safe and sound. And just to make you feel extra secure, Legacy is HIPAA and GDPR-compliant.
One of the biggest differences between Legacy and its competitors is the personal touch they add with a designated Client Service Advisor who can help answer questions, support you in what could be an emotional process, and provide personalized recommendations for specialists, and even for your lifestyle.
Legacy’s variety of packages, plus concierge-like service, make it a great choice for someone who craves a little more guidance throughout the process of fertility testing and sperm storage. Think of them as the concierge for your future children.
What happens when your smartphone turns into a hand-held sperm testing laboratory? Yeah, there’s an app for that, and it’s called YO Sperm.
If you’re looking for the easiest and most private way to test your sperm, YO Sperm may indeed be yo answer.
YO Sperm uses a desktop or mobile app, plus a smartphone attachment to take a video of your moving sperm and analyze your fertility. If that doesn’t sound futuristic, we’re not sure what kind of sperm testing you’re looking for. Plus, for just $69.95, it’s probably the same price as your next DIY project.
Here’s how YO Sperm works:
- Order the kit, including your new YO device – this is what analyzes and records the sperm – plus all the tools you need to test two of your samples.
- Deposit your sample into the cup.
- Follow the steps provided to test your motile sperm.
- It’s almost like a little science experiment! Mix up your sperm with their mixing agent, pick some up in a pipette, drop it on the card, and insert into the YO device.
- Wait for the results! Curious if sperm testing by smartphone actually works? YO Sperm results are proven to be >97% accurate, and you can even watch a live video of your sperm in action. Plus, see how you stack up against other YO Sperm customers with your YO score. Didn’t think fertility was a competition? Think again.
If this all seems a little too good to be truu, don’t worry, these guys are experts. YO Sperm was developed by Medical Electronic Systems, a company that has been producing commercial-grade semen analyzers for over 20 years.
YO Sperm is FDA approved and over 4000 units have been installed in leading research labs, premier hospital systems, the US military, and fertility clinics globally.
YO Sperm is definitely for the tech-savvy guy who wants to get a little nerdy with their sperm at home. YO Sperm does not offer any sperm storage, however, so if you’re just looking to check out how healthy and active your sperm is, then why not give YO Sperm a go?
What are customers saying online about Dadi vs Legacy vs YO Sperm?
For a full account of a Dadi experience, check out James’ story on Inverse. He walks you through the step by step process of ordering the kit, providing and dropping off his sample, and getting his results.
Dadi also predominantly features “real customer experiences” on their website, giving you a (curated) inside peek into how much customers like the overall user experience, customer service, and affordability.
For Legacy, their standout customer service is what brings in the high praise from customers in the testimonials features on their site. Customers love how simple the product is to use and feel secure knowing their privacy and samples are well protected.
Typically, reviews of Amazon products can be almost comical. Funnily enough, not when it comes from a fertility testing product. At-home testers rave about YO Sperm on Amazon, where it receives a 4-star rating.
The Verdict: So which at-home male fertility test is best for you -- Dadi, Legacy, or YO Sperm?
With such different offerings and price points, it’s hard to pick a clear winner. Fertility testing and sperm storage is a personal, let alone emotional, process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want to choose a service that you trust with your future.
With Harvard behind them, a TechCrunch win in their back pocket, personalized service, and a variety of options to choose from, Legacy is our top pick for at-home male fertility testing. Legacy offers packages for anyone, whether you’re just looking for an analysis or want to store your sperm forever. With prices starting at $350, it’s a feasible investment for a potential lifetime of comfort.
Dadi comes in second for anyone who is looking for a wallet-friendly and versatile option for analyzing and storing your sperm. Dadi is FDA approved and provides an easy to digest report so you and your partner can move forward with your family planning confidently.
While YO Sperm touts the most innovative technology, it’s hard to fully endorse something that plugs into your phone for learning if you’re infertile or not. And although we may be a bit old-fashioned, we’re not sure you’d feel 100% confident with results that don’t even pass through the hands of a lab technician.
If you’ve had experience with any of these (or other!) at-home fertility tests, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.