On January 20th I underwent a vasectomy.
You can read my vasectomy story, in which I recorded events leading up to, during, and after the surgery.
As I mentioned in the article, I have to wait 5 months+ before I get the official ‘all-clear’ from my local health authority.
I have to send away semen samples for analysis at 4 months post-surgery and again after 5 months.
I get why there is such a delay in the process, but at the same time it’s a little frustrating having to wait so long.
However, there is a simple test you can perform at home, using a vasectomy test kit, that can detect sperm in semen following a vasectomy.
The test kit is recommended by urologists and FDA approved – CE Mark European approved.
SpermCheck claim guaranteed accuracy. That’s a bold statement!
Lucky for me the good people at SpemCheck kindly sent me a kit to test-out and review.
So here it is:
My Review of SpermCheck Vasectomy Test kit
I received my test kit through the post, just over a week ago (9 weeks after my vasectomy).
According to the information leaflet in the SpermCheck Vasectomy test kit, it is designed to be used at least 6 months after your vasectomy.
Here is the exact wording:
“If it has been less than six months since your vasectomy, we suggest that you:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about when to perform this test, and
- Discuss the test results and what to do next with your doctor”
Okay that’s fair enough.
They are covering themselves in case you get a negative result but subsequently go on to get your partner pregnant.
It is primarily within the first year that the surgery could have failed due to recanalization – the formation of a new channel in the vas deferens through which sperm can move.
Although it is less than 1 in 100 chance that this could happen, it is something that you should be aware of.
The SpemCheck website and promotional video below, suggest that their home test kit is aimed at men who have not attended follow-up visits to their doctor/clinic after their vasectomy.
Who want to ensure the vasectomy has been successful after a year or more.
It may be different where you live, but I don’t need to go back for any follow-up visits.
I simply send off 2 samples over 2 consecutive months, in sealed containers, in a pre-paid plastic envelope.
Vasectomy Kit Box Contents
Although the procedure to complete the test is fairly straight forward, the instruction leaflet is very detailed.
Give yourself 10 minutes to read through it before starting.
The kit contains everything you need to perform 2 tests.
It should contain the following:
- 2 SpermCheck devices
- 2 Semen collection cups
- 2 solution bottles
- 2 semen transfer devices
- 1 response card
My kit did not include the response card.
I’m not even sure what the response card is for, but I’m sure SpermCheck would post one to me if I asked them.
How To Perform The Test
All the steps needed to perform the test are concisely written down and easy to understand, with pictures and timings.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Collect semen sample
- Allow sample to stand for 20 minutes
- Using transfer device, collect enough sample to fill to line on device
- Add sample from transfer device to solution bottle
- Gently mix solution and sample
- Wait 2 minutes
- Add 5 drops from solution bottle to sample well on test cassette
- Wait 7 minutes
- Read results
It was all relatively easy to follow.
How To Read The Test Results
Negative: If you see a Control Line (marked as “C” on the SpermCkeck device) but not a Test Line (marked as “T”) your sperm count is extremely low with very little risk of pregnancy.
Positive: If you see the “C” and the “T” lines on the SpermCheck device, your sperm count is above safe levels and there is still a risk of pregnancy with unprotected sex.
Not Valid: If you do not see a Control Line “C”, the test cannot be interpreted and you should test again.
I took 2 tests (48 hours apart) and both results showed a negative “C” Line.
Why Might You Use a SpemCheck Vasectomy Home Test Kit?
Here are some reasons you might want to use this kit:
- You might just be curious (as I was) to find out (unofficially) if you are now shooting blanks (or your sperm count has dropped to a very low level.
- For whatever reason(s) you didn’t follow-up with your doctor at the time to check your results. (according to spermcheck website, 50% of men don’t)
- You didn’t post your semen back for analysis when you were supposed to. (according to spermcheck website, 36% of men don’t)
- It has been over 12 months since your vasectomy and you would like to check that the surgery worked and recanalization has not occurred.
What I liked About The SpermCheck Vasectomy Kit:
- It is cheap to buy
- You get 2 test kits in the box
- Easy to use
- Guaranteed accurate, and gives you results very quickly
- You can carry out the test in the privacy and comfort of your home
The SpermCheck Vasectomy home test kit is a cheap, convenient product that I’m sure a lot of post-vasectomy men will use.
I took the test well before the recommended 6 months wait after the surgery, and so it will be up to me and my wife to decide if we have unprotected sex.
However, with 2 negative results, and the long odds of re-canalization, we both feel happy that pregnancy is now highly unlikely.