See collections
mail packages at the doorstep, is mail-in sperm testing and freezing accurate

Last revised:

Is mail-in sperm testing and freezing accurate and reliable?

From meal kits to teeth aligners and prescription skincare, millions of Americans have turned to at-home solutions to meet a wide range of personal and health needs. But what about fertility services? Is it really possible to test and store your sperm without ever needing to step foot in a doctor’s office? 

A quick online search would answer with a resounding yes. But the availability of these at-home options can understandably lead to uncertainty, with accuracy and privacy remaining some of the top concerns and questions we hear. In this article, we’ll review what the science shows and dig deeper into how mail-in sperm testing and freezing can be an accurate and reliable option. 

Key takeaways

  • Mail-in sperm testing is just as reliable in predicting male fertility as tests performed in clinic settings.
  • Sperm freezing requires a storage temperature of -196ºC, the temperature required to safely pause biological activity. At this temperature, sperm can be stored indefinitely. 
  • At-home sperm testing and freezing kits offer many advantages over traditional in-clinic options, including more convenience, lower costs, and faster results. 

Sperm testing and freezing at home

Both sperm testing and freezing are available through kits that you order online and mail in to a lab for analysis and storage.  

Sperm testing

Infertility is a growing issue across the world, with birth rates on the decline in many countries. In a 2021 study, researchers found that average sperm concentration and sperm motility (movement) declined between 2005 and 2021. With an increased awareness of the role male-factor infertility plays, many people may wonder what their fertility status is. Sperm testing is a quick and painless way to measure the key fertility factors — semen volume, sperm count, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm morphology (shape) — and gain a holistic view of your health. 

DNA fragmentation analysis is a more advanced test that provides a deeper assessment of your sperm health by offering more information about the integrity of your sperm’s DNA. High levels of sperm DNA fragmentation are associated with lower fertility, increased likelihood of miscarriage, and higher chances of failed assisted reproduction. 

Sperm freezing

After receiving the results from your semen analysis, you may be left wondering, what comes next? For many, sperm freezing is a good option; it’s a way to preserve your fertility and expand your family-building options in the future. Age is one factor that impacts sperm quality — while most people with testes never stop producing sperm, there is a measurable decline in semen parameters, which starts around the age of 35. 

Whether you decide to freeze your sperm upfront or add it on after you receive your test results, your frozen sperm can be stored indefinitely without significantly affecting your chances of pregnancy.  

Benefits of at-home sperm testing and freezing

At-home sperm testing and freezing is convenient. You don’t need to make an appointment or take time off work. The testing and freezing kits can be delivered straight to your doorstep and include all the supplies you’ll need to collect and mail back the sample. 

It’s also a lot more affordable to test and freeze from home. Going into a clinic for a semen analysis can cost up to $1,000 for the initial appointment, the analysis, and the follow-up appointment to review the results. Meanwhile, Legacy’s at-home semen analysis kit only costs $295, with sperm freezing costs as low as $145 per year. 

Another benefit of using mail-in sperm testing kits is the speed at which you receive your results. While traditional clinics can take 2 to 10 weeks to get you your results, not to mention the additional time needed to book a follow-up appointment, at-home sperm testing with Legacy can return your results within 2 business days. 

Accuracy of at-home sperm testing and freezing

It seems the benefits of at-home sperm testing and freezing are pretty clear, but what’s the catch? With mail-in testing and freezing, one concern people may have is regarding the accuracy of the results they receive. 

Research has shown that at-home sperm testing is just as reliable in predicting male fertility as tests performed in clinic settings. In one study from the University of Southern California, researchers found that mail-in testing kits can accurately test sperm for up to 52 hours after the sample is produced. 

Transporting the samples

When it comes to accuracy concerns, the root of the worry often comes from uncertainty about the transportation process and the preservation of the sample during transit from the individual’s home to the lab. 

At Legacy, we take every measure possible to protect the precious cargo during its journey to the lab. Every semen analysis kit includes a transport media to help preserve the sample during transit. The kit also comes in a foam insulating structure to keep a stable temperature and prevent leaking during transportation. Free overnight shipping ensures our labs receive your sample in a timely manner to preserve the viability of your sample. 

Storing the samples

We hold our labs to the highest standards. All laboratories and cryogenic storage sites have been rigorously screened for quality and high standards by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Our storage facilities are highly secure and monitored 24/7. We offer multi-site sperm storage, so your samples are held in several locations across the country, mitigating even the most unlikely of risks.

Legacy’s cryostorage process also includes a post-thaw analysis, to confirm the sperm’s viability after freezing. Our labs then use large liquid nitrogen tanks to freeze the sperm at -196ºC, the temperature required to safely pause biological activity. 

How to get started with Legacy’s sperm testing and freezing kits

Getting started with Legacy’s mail-in sperm testing and freezing kits is quick and easy. Place an order online to receive your kit at home. It’s important you use your kit within 7 days of receiving it and that you abstain from ejaculating 2–5 days before using the kit. 

Don’t know where to start? Set up a free 15-minute fertility consultation to speak with a trusted fertility advisor and get all your questions answered. 

Explore more collections