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 semen.
It’s two decades into the new millennium, and 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 Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, and YO Sperm are making it easier to find out if your little swimmers are, in fact, healthy and ready to start a family. Ro Sperm and Legacy will even store your sperm for later use.
Where traditional fertility clinics can set you back over $1,000, these startups can help you understand your fertility for a fraction of the price. And if you’re planning a family, you’ll probably want to start saving asap for diapers, baby formula, and all the other expenses.
While female fertility has long been discussed openly, male fertility is only now becoming more mainstream and accessible. Given that 20 – 25% of couples can now expect fertility issues when trying to get pregnant, it’s valuable to know about your sperm earlier than later so you can start planning in the event of the unexpected. After all, if you’re unable to conceive the old-fashioned way, modern medicine offers many solutions. Best case scenario: you part with a small amount of cash today for the peace of mind of knowing you’re fertile and in good shape to start a family.
The best part about modern at-home fertility tests? They’re extremely convenient and easy to use. Let’s examine a few of the most cutting-edge male fertility testing services like Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, and YO Sperm to see how they work exactly. By the end, hopefully you’ll be able to decide if at-home fertility testing is right for you and which kit is best for your needs.
How do home sperm tests and male fertility kits like Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, and YO Sperm work?
Image Source: Ro Sperm
Imagine you’ve made the decision to test your sperm – a very sound choice. Well done, sir. But how exactly does it work? With at-hime kits from Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, and YO Sperm, you barely have to leave the living room, er bedroom — whichever sets the mood and allows for a few minutes of privacy.
At-home male fertility kits make the process easy with just five simple steps before you can glean more insight into your semen health. And some will even store your sperm sample as well.
STEP 1: Order a kit.
After a quick registration form online, Legacy, Ro Sperm, Fellow, and YO Sperm all discreetly ship a 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. Make sure to read the instructions carefully as you’d be surprised how easy it is to contaminate a semen sample. You’ll also want to map out a strategy for sending back your sample ASAP. Each minute your sperm is outside of your body, it’s dying, so time is of the essence when it comes to getting accurate results.
When you’re ready, find something arousing, then carefully deposit those swimmers into your kit. In case that went over anyone’s head: this step requires you to ejaculate into receptacle.
STEP 3: Test your sample or test it yourself.
With Fellow, Legacy or Ro Sperm, you’ll securely ship your sample to their CLIA certified lab for analysis and wait for your fertility results to arrive in a day or two. With YO Sperm, you can test your sperm yourself immediately using a smartphone attachment and mobile or desktop app. We’ll go into more detail into the pros and cons of each method below.
STEP 4: Review your fertility report.
Results come quickly. With YO Sperm, you’ll have your fertility report immediately on your phone upon testing, and you can even view a video of your sperm in action. Ro Sperm provides results and 10 videos of your sperm within 24 hours of receiving them, but can sometimes take up to a week to ship you a kit. With Legacy, your kit is sent via priority overnight shipping so it arrives the next day, and you’ll also receive results within 24 hours of sending in your sample, but no video (sorry visual learners).
STEP 5: Store your sperm (optional, for future use).
Ro Sperm, Legacy, and Fellow all 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.
Note: Many states require men to have taken an STI test in tandem with their storing their sperm in order to use the sperm later for IVF. That’s because no doctor wants to be liable for fertilizing an egg with a HIV-positive sperm, and in fact many state laws require negative STI results before administering IVF. Thus, you should make sure your cryostorage provider offers an STI test as well.
Who should use an at-home sperm test or male fertility kit like Ro Sperm, Legacy or YO Sperm?
Unfortunately, you might just be the 1 in 10 men in the United States who are infertile, and that’s something you’d be better off knowing now than finding out later.
In general, it’s wise to be proactive about your health, especially with something as important as your ability to create a family.
At-home sperm and fertility tests are the right for anyone who is:
- Curious about their own health
- Ready to start a family
- Eager to secure the ability to
- Recovering from a vasectomy
That last one may seem like an outlier, but when you think about it, a male fertility kit is exactly what you need to verify that your vasectomy worked. Luckily kits from Legacy, Ro Sperm, and Fellow can be used to verify the efficacy of a vasectomy.
Aside from the use cases of the pro-active and intellectually curious, at-home fertility kits are ideal for busy professionals who’re struggling to conceive. Going in person to get their labs done is time-consuming and expensive. And new male fertility startups make it 10x more convenient than any in-person clinic anyway.
Companies like Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, and YO Sperm not only spare you the awkwardness of discussing your semen with another human being face to face, but they’ll also save you a few bucks, with kits starting as low as $69.95. That’s about the cost of most Americans’ co-pay for a doctor’s visit, and most lab tests will set you back anywhere from $200 – $300. Unfortunately only ~25% of health plans offer any coverage at all for semen analysis. When you factor in the cost and time savings, the question becomes: which at-home test is best?
What’s the best at-home at-home fertility test for men?
Below we compared Ro Sperm vs Legacy vs YoSperm vs Fellow to help you understand.
Best At-Home Male Fertility Kits: Ro Sperm vs Legacy vs Yo Sperm vs Fellow
|Cost of At-Home Fertility Kit||$195||$69.95|
|Vials per Sperm Deposit||3||4||N/A||Depends on volume|
|Location of Semen Analysis||Third-party CLIA certified Lab||Legacy-owned CLIA certified Lab||At home via smartphone||Fellow-owned CLIA certified Lab|
|Fertility Results Turnaround Time||24 hours||24 hours||Immediate||24 hours|
|Where is it available?||All 50 states||All 50 states||All 50 states||All 50 states EXCEPT:|
|Video of Sperm Included in Report?||✅||❌||✅||❌|
|FSA/HSA Package Available?||✅||✅||✅||✅|
|Insurance Coverage Available?||❌||✅||❌||✅|
|Access to licensed medical professionals?||Ro Sperm offers access to a registered nurse to discuss next steps for an additional fee.||All Legacy packages include access to a fertility specialist.||❌||Fellow connects you with an in-house nurse practitioner to chat for no additional charge.|
|Protected by two-factor authentication & tamper-proof packaging?||✅||❌||❌||❌|
|Morphology included?||❌ costs $99||✅||N/A||✅|
|Offers DNA Fragmentation?||❌||✅ costs $195||❌||❌|
|Able to verify a vasectomy (post-vas)?||✅||✅||❌||✅ Fellow offers a separate post-vas kit for just |
|Customer Service Hours||9-5, M-F||24/7||9-5, M-F||24/7|
Now that you have a general lay of the land when it comes to at-home male fertility kits, let’s dive a bit deeper into each provider so you can see which makes the most sense — Ro Sperm, Legacy, Fellow, or YoSperm.
Review of Legacy for Male Fertility
Here’s what my gifted Legacy kit looked like when unboxed.
Legacy’s kit packaging is regal, but not nearly as secure as Ro Sperm’s.
Legacy is a Boston-based, Y Combinator and Harvard Innovation Labs-incubated company trying to change the way people, especially men, think about fertility. Legacy’s founder, Khaled Kteily, started the company after a medical issue led him to experience how uncomfortable and awkward the process of testing and freezing your sperm is.
Today, they’ve raised over $20M from impressive investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Section 32, and FirstMark Capital, celebrities like Justin Bieber and Orlando Bloom, and entrepreneurs like Heather Hasson and Hannah Bronfman. And the 50-person company, despite being in the male fertility business, is majority-female.
Most notably in this industry, Legacy has won the trust of top-tier establishments. They are the exclusive provider of sperm testing and freezing for the Navy SEALs. They work with hospitals and clinics like Memorial Sloan Kettering and BostonIVF. They are covered by the country’s largest insurers, including Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, and TriWest. And through partnerships with fertility benefits providers like Carrot, Kindbody, and Stork Club, they serve employers like Slack, Salesforce, Snap, and Princeton University.
Over the years, Legacy has won a number of awards, from TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield competition at Disrupt Berlin to MassChallenge Gold in Boston to the Entrepreneurship World Cup (USA). And their founder has also been the recipient of accolades like 40 Under 40 and nominations to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader program.
They offer a suite of products and services, and their packages start at $195. Legacy is typically slightly more expensive than competitors, but with good reason. Here’s their available packages:
Their service is one of the fastest we’ve tried. Once you’ve selected your package, you’ll receive your kit at home in just 24 hours after ordering (as long as you order by 2pm ET). Their free “one-click pickup” process was also seamless; just push a button on their website and a courier will come by to pick it up – no need to drive to a facility or drop it off in an overheated dropbox.
Your sperm will then be analyzed for volume count, concentration, motility, morphology and (if you’ve paid for it) DNA fragmentation. You’ll get to read all about it with their detailed six-page report, and you can have a complimentary tele-health call to discuss it with one of their fertility nurses or urologists. 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 like Ro Sperm does.
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. They’re the only company to offer this multi-geography storage, which seems like a no-brainer. And just to make you feel extra secure, Legacy is HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA-compliant as well as being SOC2 certified, which is enterprise-grade security.
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. Their call, text, and e-mail customer support is available 24/7, making them more responsive than its peers who only offer service during business hours.
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 a concierge for your future children.
Review of Ro Sperm's Fertility Kits for Men
Ro Sperm is on a mission to make male fertility accessible to all. Women have many different ways of testing and tracking their fertility, so it’s great to see the ability for men, as well. 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 (and several iterations since!), testing and storing your sperm has never been easier.
With Ro Sperm, you’ll simply order a fertility kit online, wait a few days until it arrives, then deposit your sample at home. When you’re ready, ideally as soon as possible, 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 Ro Sperm kit comes with one year of cryo-storage 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, Ro Sperm sits in the middle of the scale between YO Sperm and Legacy. To test your sperm, plus receive one year of free storage, you’ll fork over $1909. Use code FINVSFIN25 at check out to drop the price to $174.
After the first year of storage, they charge just $99 per year to continue to keep your semen in their labs.
Ro Sperm Kit Unboxing: How was my own experience using Ro Sperm?
Ro Sperm gifted me a free fertility kit to try for myself, and I jumped at the opportunity! We tried Ro Sperm Kit before Ro acquired them – hence the different name in the photos.
Overall the experience was super straight-forward, and dare I even say fun? It’s rare to have a legitimate excuse (for science!) to masturbate, so that was a first 😂
Jokes aside, the only potentially tricky part to be aware of is timing your semen sample collection and drop off, since every second sperm exists outside of the body it is dying and degrading in quality. Thus I was careful to rush my sample immediately to my local FedEx center for same-day priority delivery. Ro Sperm provides a prepaid shipping label and very clear step-by-step instructions, just don’t lose track of time and accidentally miss the last delivery cutoff of the day.
I dropped off my kit on Friday evening, and by Sunday morning I had an email letting me know my analysis was ready. The report let me know how my sperm compared to other men by percentile in terms of count, concentration, volume, and motility. If you’re curious about what my sperm looks like on video, here’s a sneak peek — look closely you’ll see a few moving around:
I have to admit, it’s nice having peace of mind about my semen. Naturally the report left me with additional questions, and Ro Sperm is happy to connect you with a nurse to discuss your diagnostics. Overall the service was delightful to use and left with peace of mind that my swimmers are in decent shape.
For a more in-depth review of Ro Sperm, check out our review!
Fellow Fertility Review
What makes Fellow stand out from other popular at-home fertility kits for men? A few things, actually.
- Price: In addition to being the least expensive of the at-home kits that analyze your semen sample in a CLIA-certified lab, Fellow also offers a reduced cost kit for men simply looking to validate the results of their vasectomy.
- Accuracy: as mentioned before, Fellow is the only at-home fertility test for men that’s published a peer-reviewed study in a world-class scientific journal, fully validating the legitimacy of their offering in a way that other at-home kits can’t, at least not yet.
- User Experience: From affordable semen storage, to access to a nurse practitioner with over 29 years off infertility experience at no extra charge, and discreet packaging, Fellow’s offering is robust and well-thought out from start to finish.
Check out our more in-depth review of Fellow if you’re curious to learn more about their philosophy and read what customers are saying about them.
YO Sperm Review
Source: YO Sperm
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 Ro Sperm vs Legacy vs YO Sperm?
For a full account of a Ro Sperm experience, check out James’ story on Inverse – again, reviewed before they were acquired by Ro. He walks you through the step by step process of ordering the kit, providing and dropping off his sample, and getting his results.
Ro Sperm also predominantly features real customer experiences on their website, giving you a curated 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 featured on their site. On Google reviews, they have a 4+ star average. Customers love how simple the product is to use and feel secure knowing their privacy and samples are well protected. One customer wrote ‘I tried both Legacy and Ro Sperm for long term storage – Legacy is lightyears ahead in all aspects. Fantastic customer service, urologists on staff to answer analysis questions and a simple specimen collection process. Very fair pricing for multi region long term storage too!‘
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.
YO Sperm customers love how easy it is to use, plus it kind of feels like a science experiment.
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The Verdict: Which at-home male fertility test is best -- Ro Sperm, Legacy, or YO Sperm?
With slightly different offerings at various 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 can trust when planning your future.
The first question to ask is: do you want to cryogenically store your sperm, or just test once without storing for later use?
If you want to store your semen, you can rule out YoSperm. With Harvard credentials, a TechCrunch Startup Battlefield win in their back pocket, highly personalized service, and a variety of testing + storage options to choose from, Legacy is a fantastic pick for at-home male fertility testing. Their packages are easy to understand and suitable for all use cases, whether you’re just looking for a one-time analysis or want to store your sperm indefinitely. With prices starting at $195, it’s a smart investment for a potential lifetime of comfort. If budgets aren’t limited, they definitely offer the most premium storage packages.
Ro Sperm is a more wallet-friendly and versatile option for both analyzing and storing your sperm. Their solution is FDA approved, and they provide a report that’s easy to digest, so you and your partner can move forward with confidence when planning a family. The first year of storage is free, and should you have questions after seeing your initial lab results, Ro Sperm can connect you with a nurse by phone 24/7 to advise on next steps, local fertility centers, IVF, and more. They also take patient privacy and test accuracy very seriously — both of which we appreciate. Don’t forget to use coupon code FINVSFIN25 for $25 off (exclusively for Fin vs Fin readers 🙂
We also like Ro Sperm and Legacy because they take security very, very seriously. Both offer two-factor authentication to ensure privacy and confidentiality. Legacy even integrates with Persona to add an extra layer of security.
Ro Sperm, Legacy, and Fellow all hold themselves to the highest standard of clinical accuracy, meaning they exclusively analyze your sperm in CLIA-certified labs. There is some nuance about each lab that each provider claims sets them apart, but overall each promises similar levels of accuracy as any in-person clinic, and the results are very credible. If you bring them to an OBGYN, for instance, they are likely to take them at face value without asking you to re-run any tests in a CLIA-inspected lab. That said, the science behind Fellow’s kit rises above the rest. With a peer-reviewed, patent-pending Stabilization Technology™ that prevents sperm from dying en route, Fellow’s is the only service that’s published an accuracy study in a legit scientific journal.
While YO Sperm touts the most innovative technology, it’s hard to fully endorse a product that plugs into your phone for learning if you’re infertile. And although that may seem old-fashioned, we’re not sure you should feel 100% confident with results that aren’t reviewed by a lab technician. Note that if you’re looking to verify the efficacy of a vasectomy, YoSperm isn’t recommended. Instead Fellow would be your best option at just
$120 $100 with code FINVSFIN20 at checkout.
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.