A New App Could Help Diagnose Male Infertility

Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week, a week meant to highlight the struggles that affects many couples across the United States. The CDC explains that approximately nine percent of men between the ages of 25 and 44, about 4 million men, reported that they or their partner had consulted a doctor for issues stemming from infertility. That's a total of 45 million couples dealing with infertility and the process can take its toll on individuals and couples. “Infertility might contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression in couples trying to conceive, and treatment can be medically invasive and expensive,” the CDC notes. 

For couples who struggle with infertility, testing is the first step on a long road and even testing itself can be costly and difficult, especially for men who have to contribute a sample in order to be tested. But now a new app is in development that may be able to help diagnose male infertility in an easier, more effective way. 

{ MORE: To the Mom Hoping to Get Pregnant }

Image via Flickr/ Alexandra E Rust

The app was developed by a team at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital as a way to make it easier for men in particular to seek an evaluation for infertility. The developers acknowledged that men may avoid getting tested because of embarrassment or how difficult the testing may seem to be, so that's a barrier to couples getting the help that they need. 

To help make testing easier, they designed a fertility analyzer that connects to a smartphone and attaches a disposable device for the sperm sample, so they would be able to test at home. The analyzer would collect the data through the app, which easily guides the men through the process of testing, then records and analyzes the sperm count and quality. An app like this would help ease a couple's comfort level about fertility testing and may make it easier for a man to give a sperm sample without feeling embarrassed. 

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One of the lead doctors on the team that came up with the app described how in cases of infertility, almost 40% of the time, it's actually the male sperm that is the problem. So it's more important than ever to ensure that men get tested if a couple is trying to conceive. The male infertility app is still in development phase and if it's approved by the FDA, it will actually be produced for at-home use. 

What do you think of the male infertility app? Would your partner be willing to use it? 

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A New App Could Help Diagnose Male Infertility

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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