Male embarrassment over the thought of giving a semen sample at a clinic can delay couples getting the fertility support they need. To overcome this issue, fertility clinic Bourn Hall is offering a service where a sample produced at home is collected for rapid analysis, and the results explained one-to-one by a specialist fertility consultant.
Bourn Hall consultant Mr Oliver Wiseman is one of the few urologists who specialise in male fertility and says that he would always recommend that both partners are tested; even if the female knows she has a fertility issue it doesn’t mean that there may not also be a male factor.
“Fifty percent of infertility has a male factor and testing is non-invasive,” he explains. “As sperm is made continuously, its quality can be improved with lifestyle changes. In some other patients, the presence of dilated veins can affect sperm manufacture, and these can be treated. So, there are a number of options available that may improve the chances of natural conception or successful treatment.”
Speed is important for semen analysis, so Bourn Hall has its own embryology laboratory where sperm are examined immediately for quality, quantity, and mobility. Although very discreet, the thought of physically going into the clinic can be off-putting to many men and the clinic is keen to offer alternatives.
Bourn Hall has partnered with MOJO to offer a revolutionary ‘at-home’ semen analysis service, where men produce a sample in the privacy of their home and the samples are then collected for analysis. The semen analysis is performed by an AI powered microscope and results are discussed with a Bourn Hall fertility specialist during a medical consultation.
Mr Wiseman continues: “It can be devastating for a man to be told he has a poor semen analysis and we would always prefer to give the results personally, so there is an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the options going forward. There are many options for treatment so a low or poor sperm result is the starting point of a journey, not the end point.”
The new ‘at-home’ testing service – which also includes options for female tests – has been established to provide patients with more choice and flexibility. In response to the Covid pandemic, Bourn Hall changed the way that it provided treatment and many of the innovations it introduced have been popular with patients trying to juggle treatment and work and have not impacted success rates.
Dr Thanos Papathanasiou, CEO and Medical Director at Bourn Hall, says: “Patients value being able to talk to someone who understands their fertility journey and can give them advice about improving their fertility as well as the treatment options. By offering this service, we are combining all the benefits of choosing the world’s first IVF clinic with the convenience of home testing.”