Evaluation of An In-Home Semen Testing System by Couples Participating in an Internet-Based Preconception Study

American Society of Andrology (ASA) conference abstract describing Trak’s pilot study findings with Boston University. See 2017 ASA Conference full text.

Objective
To evaluate the utility of the Trak Male Fertility Testing System – a new FDA-cleared device for in-home semen parameter measurements – to gather individual semen data from men participating in the Boston University Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO) study of couples trying to conceive in the general population.

Methods
PRESTO couples with less than 3 months of pregnancy attempt time were invited to participate in the Trak sub-study. Consenting participants were mailed a Trak Engine and two test kits (consumables for home measurement of sperm concentration and semen volume). Users self-reported and uploaded smartphone images of their test results via an online questionnaire. Data were correlated to subject responses from the baseline PRESTO questionnaire.

Results
During 4 months of recruitment, 45 of 82 (55%) men invited to the sub-study agreed to participate. 36 men (82%) successfully uploaded their 1st set of semen results and completed the usability survey, with 96% reporting they believed the results were accurate. Mean device “ease of use” score was 1.29 on a Likert scale (1=very easy, 5=difficult). A total of 27 men uploaded both sets of results (i.e., completed study) and received a $20 e-gift card. The distribution of semen parameters was as expected for a population-based cohort of men aged 24-40 (semen volume: median=3.0, interquartile range (IQR): 2.5-4.2; sperm concentration: median=60.0, IQR: 26.5-90.0; total sperm count: median=157.5, IQR: 71.3-330.0). 6 men (17%) reported abnormal concentration or volume results (< 15 M/mL or < 1.5 mL) further emphasizing utility of early testing. Table 1 shows mean values for selected semen parameters reported using Trak according to selected lifestyle, anthropometric, socioeconomic, and medical history variables. These data provide early evidence that the semen results are consistent with findings from the literature for several health and lifestyle variables and that a geographically diverse group of men from the general population will participate in semen studies.

Conclusion
The Trak System provides a convenient, reliable, easy-to-use, and cost-effective means to measure semen parameters for epidemiological research by allowing men to test at home.

Authors
Greg Sommer Ph.D., Tiffany Trinidad B.S., Ulrich Schaff Ph.D., Michael Eisenberg M.D., Amelia Wesselink MPH, Elizabeth Hatch Ph.D. and Lauren Wise ScD

April 21-25, 2017
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