Are Your Sperm Up To Scratch? Phone Microscope Lets You Check, University of Illinois Study

How are the little swimmers doing? Low sperm counts or poor sperm quality are to blame in around a third of cases of couples who can’t conceive. A visit to a clinic for a test can be awkward, but a new smartphone-based system lets men determine whether that’s necessary by checking their fertility in the comfort of their own home.

Men often find it embarrassing to provide a semen sample at a clinic, says Yoshitomo Kobori of the Dokkyo Medical University Koshigaya Hospital in Japan. So Kobori devised an alternative. “Everyone has a smartphone now, and they have good cameras,” he says. “I thought a smartphone microscope could be an easy way to look at problems with male fertility.”

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