New gadget lets guys test their swimmers

Britain gets the first over-the-counter fertility test for men. (There's one for women, too!)

Published January 6, 2006 2:45PM (EST)

Sadly, we missed making the pre-holiday announcement on this one, but here's a great gift idea for the couple that has everything: His and hers fertility tests. Soon to be available over the counter in Britain, they're both called Fertell. The women's version is your usual pee-on-a-stick contraption, and measures whether the user's "ovarian reserve" is in a normal range. The men's model is more or less the same semen-in-a-cup situation guys get at the doctor's office, but this cup simulates a cervix by warming up, releasing a cervical-mucus-like fluid, and then determining how fast the sperm are swimming through that fluid. (As Keanu would say: Whoa.)

We're all for devices that let men get in on the worries, burdens and joys of pregnancy and fertility. And tests found the male version to be 95 percent effective. But dads' blog Daddy Types found the guys' test's appearance a little ... infantilizing.

"I don't know why it looks like a Fisher Price playset," poster greg.daddy muses. "Maybe you're supposed to leave it on the living room floor when you're done with it."

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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