How to Understand SpermQT Fertility Test Results

The prospect of starting or growing your family is often accompanied by feelings of excitement and, in many cases, a hint of apprehension. Receiving fertility test results, in particular, can feel both nerve-wracking and intensely significant. You might be asking questions like, “What if the results aren’t what I expect?” or “How do the results affect what we do?” These are natural concerns, and you’re not alone in feeling them.

While the journey may be challenging, it is also filled with promise. Fertility testing is a crucial step toward understanding your unique biological profile. It can be your compass guiding you toward the future you want.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of understanding SpermQT results. Our aim is to empower you with answers so that you can make informed decisions and move forward on your fertility journey with optimism. We’ll shed light on the meaning of these results and offer guidance on what steps you can take next.

What is SpermQT?

SpermQT, or sperm quality test, is a new kind of fertility test that looks inside the head of the sperm to assess gene function. 

Before we go any further, let’s take a step back. Typically in fertility testing, men will start with a standard semen analysis. This test simply requires a semen sample which is examined under a microscope for sperm count, shape, and motion. While this is a great assessment of outside characteristics of sperm, research has shown that these factors are not very predictive of pregnancy outcomes. 

SpermQT also only requires a semen sample, but breaks open the head of the sperm to look at characteristics inside. Specifically, environmental and lifestyle factors can help or hurt genes in sperm, which can impact fertility potential. SpermQT examines those genes and if they’ve been negatively affected, and predicts the resulting likelihood of successful pregnancy. 

What Kind of Fertility Test Results Can I Receive From SpermQT?

There are three different results you can expect when using SpermQT: Excellent, Normal, or Poor. Each has varying implications for the future of your path to parenthood, which we will break down here. SpermQT can be especially helpful if you’re considering intrauterine insemination (IUI), since results are correlated with IUI success rates.

Excellent Sperm Quality

An excellent SpermQT result means that your sperm genes have been minimally impacted by environmental or lifestyle factors. This indicates that the genes analyzed with SpermQT are functioning above average. Your chances of getting pregnant with IUI are highest, at about 18% per attempt*.

Normal Sperm Quality

Path SpermQT results and birth rates per IUI cycle. Excellent result gives a 17% birth rate, normal result gives a 12% birth rate, and poor gives a 6% birth rate.

A normal SpermQT result means that your sperm genes have been impacted by environmental or lifestyle factors within a normal or expected range. This indicates that the genes analyzed with SpermQT are functioning properly. Your chances of getting pregnant with IUI are average, at about 12% per attempt*.

Poor Sperm Quality

A poor SpermQT result means that your sperm genes have been significantly impacted by environmental or lifestyle factors. This indicates that the genes analyzed with SpermQT are functioning below average. Your chances of getting pregnant with IUI are lowest, at about 6% per attempt*.

*Per cycle cumulative average success rates when female patient age is under 35.

What Happens Next?

After receiving your results, you should discuss next steps with your doctor. Depending on your fertility journey, receiving poor results can suggest moving on to treatment options other than IUI is advisable. For instance, chances of success with IVF is the same across Excellent, Normal and Poor sperm quality. However, in some cases, healthcare coverage may require a certain number of IUI rounds before trying IVF.

Why Fertility Test Results Are Critical

While a poor result can sound scary, fertility tests can be highly empowering. Rather than feeling shame or blame, knowing what will or will not work can allow you to have some control over how you decide to move forward. Keep in mind that other factors will also need to be considered, including the reproductive health of your partner. 

Trying to get pregnant for months or years on end can fill a person with uncertainty and doubt, but by providing at least a few more answers, Path Fertility aims to offer hope and support to couples who may be facing a complicated path ahead. Testing options for men have traditionally been few and far in between, but we’re helping to close that gap and raise the standard in male reproductive health. 

Kristin Brogaard, PhD

Kristin Brogaard, PhD is Co-founder and CSO of Inherent Biosciences, a molecular diagnostics company at the intersection of epigenetics and AI. Dr. Brogaard is an experienced molecular biologist, study director, and operations manager for early stage biotech startups. She received her PhD in Molecular Biology from Northwestern University developing novel epigenetic technologies. She subsequently worked with Dr. Leroy Hood, a pioneer in personalized medicine technologies, first as a post-doc and then as a colleague launching a novel scientific wellness start-up, Arivale. Dr. Brogaard has broad business experience that includes launching and scaling the health startup, Arivale. Additionally, Dr. Brogaard was the Director of Program Management at Arivale managing all strategic projects with a highly qualified team of program and project managers.

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