Fertell me about it

New test measures his 'n' hers fertility -- at home.

By Lynn Harris
June 6, 2007 9:10PM (UTC)
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Fellas, would you pay $100 not to have to undergo a complete fertility workup? Perhaps you can. Coming soon to your local pharmacy: Fertell, the first at-home fertility screening test for men and women. It works by measuring two key fertility indicators: sperm motility (high is good) and female follicle-stimulating hormone, known as FSH (high is bad). Experts are welcoming the fact that Fertell -- available in England since last year -- doesn't test only women. First, because men are, contrary to popular belief (and dated medical practice), roughly as likely as their partners to be the source of fertility issues; find out something might be wrong now and you won't waste your time with an old-school doctor who looks only at the lady half of the equation. Men also tend to be more reluctant to get checked out in the first place; the at-home option could help them, and thus the couple, get past the first hurdle. Of course, swimming skills and FSH are not the only canaries in the coal mine; these tests can't replace doctors. They're also not cheap. But at least as a jump-start, as well as a reminder -- to individual couples, and to society -- of how exactly many it takes to tango, Fertell probably can't hurt.

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of BreakupGirl.net. She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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