February 7, 2012
A product developed at the University of Virginia is going national. For years, researchers have been working on a simple way to test male fertility. Now, they have one.
"It's different in that it's the only product of its kind, a home male fertility test that's FDA approved and that's accurate and inexpensive," said Ed Leary, President of ContraVac.
That product is SpermCheck Fertility Home Sperm Test, a one-of-a-kind way for men to test their fertility in the privacy of their own home. It was developed by UVa spin-off ContraVac and will soon be on the shelves of Walgreens and CVS.
"There's been historically several products there for women's fertility issues. This is a product that's available for men's fertility issues, so it brings a gender equity to the family planning shelves," said John Herr, a cell biology professor at UVa.
SpermCheck gained FDA approval in 2010. It works just like a pregnancy test, besides the urine. One line means the test is working and accurate and a second line means a man is fertile. Its developers claim the results appear in less than ten minutes and are as accurate as lab testing (up to 98%).
And as ContraVac continues to grow, Leary says they will continue to develop their marketing strategy toward women. "Although it's going to be used by a man, it's typically the woman that addresses the couple's infertility issues," he said.
It has taken more than 20 years of research and development at UVa, but the payoff will soon be on store shelves for approximately $40.
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