How To Test Your Sperm Count at Home Using Water

Sperm Count (Featured Image)

How To Test Your Sperm Count at Home Using Water

Article Overview

The following guide covers how to test your sperm to give an indication of your male fertility levels, whilst also detailing what steps to take if the results are less than positive.

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Last updated Last updated 5 July, 2023

How to Test Your Sperm Count (Summary Image)

To most newlyweds, trying to conceive is a natural process and usually the fun part of getting married, but things start to look grim when all doesn’t go as planned. If you and your partner have been trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant, there could be several reasons for this. One of those may be due to low sperm count.

Here are the steps you can follow to test your sperm count at home using water:

  1. Get a sample of semen.
  2. Fill a container with water.
  3. Pour semen into the water container.
  4. Observe the semen for changes.

While infertility and the inability to conceive can be due to issues between either one of or both spouses, this article will discuss issues of low sperm count. It explains how sperm count can be tested using water, details the various outcomes of the test, and discusses how to treat a low sperm count.

Number 1 IconGet a Sample of Semen

The first step is getting a sample of semenexternal link icon. The easiest way to obtain this is by masturbating and ejaculating into a container, though you can also get it through intercourse. For religious people who can not masturbate, ejaculating into a condom during intercourse should provide a just as good and viable sample.

It is important to note that you must refrain from sexual activities three to five days beforehand to get the best results from this test. Also, it is prudent to remember that this test must be carried out immediately, so no matter how you get the semen, you must use it immediately after.

Number 2 IconFill a Container With Water

Get a clean bowl or any container with an open top that will make it easy to put in the sperm. The container should be filled with cool distilled water and free from dirt or any additives or substances. Most people prefer to use the sinks in their bathroom as it is easier to clean and wash out after the test.

Number 3 IconPour Semen Into the Water Container

The next step is to carefully pour the semen sample into the water container you had previously prepared, being careful not to splash it into the water. It might seem like a pretty unorthodox process but stick with it to the very end to get the observation.

Number 4 IconObserve the Semen for Changes

This stage is the observation stage and might take a little while as you study the way the semen moves on the surface of the water. Some semen will sink almost immediately to the bottom of the sink or container that holds the water.

Some others will stick to the water’s surface for a little while before slowly sinking to the bottom of the water. Still, others will stick to the surface of the water for as long as you will be observing.

Letter L IconOutcomes of Testing Sperm Count With Water

The basic concept behind the water test is the relationship between the hypo-osmotic property of semen when suspended in distilled water. This hypo-osmotic property is simply the ability of semen to take up water depending on its constituents and composition, which includes sperm cells.

The sperm cells are susceptible to water as they tend to swell because they have a higher concentration of salts than the water. This swelling is only exhibited by living cells and has an active membrane that carries out the hypo-osmotic action.

Evidently, if the sperm cells in the semen are immotile or dead, they cannot take in water and swell and so remain the same.

There can be as many as three outcomes from this water test.

Semen Sinks Immediately

If the semen sinks to the bottom of the container immediately after putting it in, it might indicate low sperm count as there are no active sperm cells to swell and float at the top.

Also, the specific gravity of semen is greater than that of water, so semen sinking immediately means a higher concentration of seminal fluids to sperm cells.

Semen Sinks After a Few Minutes

If the semen takes a little while before finally sinking to the bottom after a few minutes, it pretty much means the same thing but with a slight difference. This outcome might indicate a low sperm count, but it is slightly higher than the first as it took a while for the sample to succumb to gravity and sink.

Semen Doesn’t Sink at All

If the semen doesn’t sink to the bottom of the container even after a few minutes of observation, it simply means a higher and acceptable concentration of sperm cells. This shows that the sperm cells are alive with active membranes that swell with water enabling them to float indefinitely.

Whatever the results might be, it is still advisable to conduct another test in three months to determine if the same condition persists. Whatever the results of the second test show, seeing a doctor is in your best interest as they can give more professional opinions and recommendations on how to proceed.

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Letter H IconHow To Proceed if the Test Indicates Low Sperm Count

If, after carrying out a second water test, the results still indicate low sperm count, don’t panic.

These tests aren’t 100% accurate!!

The next step is to take a more scientifically proven test by visiting a medical laboratory to undergo a sperm analysis or test.

This test will be more precise and give more accurate results as to the actual state of your sperm count.

If, after a first laboratory test, the results still come out the same for low sperm count, then getting a doctor involved is the next best thing. Getting a diagnosis of the cause of the low sperm count will be paramount in getting the appropriate cause of action to remedy the situation.

A physical check of your body will help pinpoint the cause of the problem, an examination on your scrotum, penis, testicular size, and maybe even a prostate exam would be in order. Further tests on your hormonal levels, including testosterone, blood sugar, and alcohol levels, as well as other tests, will also be needed.

Letter H IconSemen Analysis: Purpose and Procedure

How To Begin Semen Collection for Sperm Count Analysis

Doing a sperm count analysis generally requires medical equipment to determine the concentration of sperm cells contained in a sample of semen. An electron microscope is often used to tell how many sperm cells are concentrated in a sample of semen.

In modern hospitals and clinics, a computer is used to measure this sperm/semen concentration almost to pinpoint accuracy. The patient in question must first provide a sample of semen to the doctor, and this is usually done in one of two ways.

The first method requires the patient to masturbate into a sample cup in a private room in the doctor’s office, which can be pretty awkward in most situations.

Due to the situation’s awkwardness, most men find it difficult to maintain an erection, much less achieve ejaculation. It is imperative to stay relaxed and not think about the current situation too much as the stress could affect the process differently.

Masturbating into a container at the doctor’s office isn’t for everyone, so it is possible to do that at home and carry the sample in a sealed container to the doctors within 30 minutes of ejaculation.

Another instance not at all related to the situation’s awkwardness is that some men might not want to masturbate due to religious reasons. So getting the semen samples would have to be done the old-fashioned way, through intercourse but while using a special condom to hold the semen.

Below is a video by Anu Kathiresan MD that will help you understand the reasons for a semen analysis and how it is done.

largewhitevideoiconSemen Analysis

timericon3 minutes, 18 seconds

tableofcontentsiconMouse over or tap the video to see and jump to the chapters

You can apply one of these methods to getting semen samples for checking sperm count using water. But it is important to remember that before getting semen samples for sperm count tests, a man must refrain from ejaculating for three to five days.

That means no masturbation and no intercourse for a maximum of five days and a minimum of three days. This abstinence is to ensure that the semen samples contain mature cells.

Treatment Options Available for Low Sperm Count

If a doctor confirms that you have a low sperm count, it is time to take steps to either restore your sperm count or increase your chances of getting your spouse pregnant.

Some treatment options could include prescribed hormonal medicationsexternal link icon, but most commonly, you would just need to make some lifestyle changes. Your doctor may recommend that you change any of the following:

  • Eating habits
  • Drinking habits
  • Specific body care routines

The following steps can help increase sperm count:

Quit Smoking

Studies have shownexternal link icon that men who smoke have a 23% chance of decreased sperm concentration in semen analysis and DNA fragmentation in sperm cells, leading to poor fertilization and embryo formation.

Smokers also have a higher chance of low sperm motility, as in the inability of sperm cells to swim to the fertilized egg cells. The possibilities are that smokers are also 60% more likely to be sterile than non-smokers. So lay off the nicotine and tobacco.

Avoid Toxic Exposure

Exposure to radiationexternal link icon from laptops and cell phones near the groin area can adversely affect the male reproductive health. The heat and the rays emitted from these devices can reduce the quality of the sperm, thereby adversely affecting reproduction.

Manage Stress Levels

Researchexternal link icon shows that increased stress levels may cause increased levels of steroids such as glucocorticoidsexternal link icon, which will cause a decrease in the production of testosterone and sperm cells.

You can avoid stressful situations and heightened stress levels through meditating, practicing yoga, and getting proper amounts of sleep. All these will help increase the production of serotoninexternal link icon and oxytocinexternal link icon. These hormones will, in turn, help elevate moods and reduce stress.

Stay Clear of Toxic Chemicals

Staying clear of fumes from cleaning products, paint, toxic fumes, industrial bleach, and cleaners, as well as other chemical agents, can significantly reduce whatever adverse effects those chemicals may have on your body.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Even in the smallest amounts, alcohol intake can have detrimental effects on the fertility levels of both men and women. Heavy drinkers experience increased estrogen levels, decreased testosterone levels, and reduced levels of a follicle-stimulating hormone, which reduces sperm production. Even as few as five drinks a week will raise a man’s risk of low fertility.

Eat Healthily

Eating healthy is a no-brainer for maintaining good health, but it is paramount when trying to increase fertility. Ensuring the proper nutrients associated with healthy sperm production is vital for improving one’s sperm count.

The following nutrients and food classes should be incorporated into a man’s daily diet:

  • Whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and nuts: They’re rich in antioxidants, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and other essential nutrients.
  • Spinach and carrots: These supply a good amount of Beta-carotene.
  • Fish, such as mackerel and salmon: They contain healthy unsaturated fats like Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins D, B-6, and B-12.
  • Sunflower seeds, apricot oil, almonds, and hazelnuts: These are excellent sources of vitamin E.
  • Cabbages, citrus fruits, broccoli, and aloe vera: These are the top choices for high levels of vitamin C.
  • Additionally: Avoid eating unhealthy fast foods filled with margarine and mayonnaise as they contain large quantities of trans fats.

Exercise Daily

Maintaining a healthy weight and size ratio regarding your Body Mass Index (BMI)external link icon is of great importance to your overall health. Overweight men with higher cholesterol levels have increased chances of not just low sperm count but also erectile dysfunction. Sufficient exercise and a healthy diet should significantly increase a man’s chances of fertility and overall health status.

Letter U IconUnderstanding Sperm and Sperm Count

About the Sperm

One of the most important contributing factors to achieving conception is the quality and quantity of sperm cells available in a male partner. Sperm cells are the motile male reproductive cells that can’t be seen by the naked human eye; however, they are responsible for fertilizing the female ovum, bringing about conception.

In addition to being microscopic, sperm cells are susceptible to temperature, so they are produced in the testes or testicles of the male body. The testicles hang outside the male body as an intentional evolutionary step to avoid the internal heat present inside the human body.

After proper sexual stimulation, erection, and ejaculation, these sperm cells are transported from the testes through sperm ducts such as the epididymis, vas deferens, ampulla, seminal vesicle, the prostate gland, and then through the urethra to the penis as semen.

Sperm vs. Semen

Sperm and semen should not be mistaken as the same thing, although the two are often confused.

Semen is the seminal viscous fluid that contains sperm as well as other plasma liquids. It is mixed with sperm after the sperm cells make their way to the prostate gland from the testes and can be either white, yellow, or a greyish color.

Unlike sperm that holds just sperm cells, semen contains:

  • Sperm cells
  • Proteins
  • Prostaglandins
  • Amino acids
  • Vitamin C
  • Fructose
  • Enzymes
  • Mucus

Normal Sperm Count

Sperm count tests or semen analyses are tests carried out to determine the contents of the semen and the ratio of sperm to other semen constituents. This test is usually recommended to couples experiencing difficulty conceiving, and it serves to understand a man’s sperm-producing ability.

Now, this test is in no way a test of manliness.

Regardless of the results, it is essential to remember that sperm-producing ability doesn’t determine a man’s character or personality. In the male anatomy, complete sperm production and formation takes about three months in the cool environment of the testes inside the scrotum.

This invariably means that a current sperm test reflects the man’s health status three months prior.

If he had experienced any abnormal health issues or practices at the time, including wearing very tight underwear, high fever, or hot baths, the sperm test results would be abnormal even though he no longer experiences those conditions.

An average sperm count from semen analysis in a lab should be between 15 to 200 millionexternal link icon sperm cells per milliliter of semen, which is a lot considering only one sperm cell is required for conception. Low sperm count comes into play once the sperm count is anywhere below 15 million sperm cells per milliliter of semen.

You might be wondering why 15 million is considered low when we only need 1 or 2 sperm cells in the case of twins?

Well, this is because after ejaculation into the vaginal tract, millions of these cells will be lost along the way to the fallopian tubes, and only a few hundred will eventually make it to the egg. So the higher the sperm count, the greater the chances are of fertilization and conception.

Letter C IconConclusion

It is important to remember that a low sperm count doesn’t destroy your chances of having children. There are medical treatment methods available like IVF that can help you have kids, even with fertility problems.

This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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Chris Sabian Author & Site Owner

Avatar of Chris Sabian

So I’m Chris Sabian, the creator and owner of the Penis Enlargement Resource website.

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This Content Was Written By...

Author & Site Owner | Website
Chris is the owner and creator of Penis Enlargement Resource. He has years of knowledge in the male enhancement niche and has tested and assessed numerous products over the years.

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