A new startup company, Dadi, is now offering the first mail-in fertility test for men. This new fertility test just came onto the market in the continental United States last week. Dadi, a fertility startup company of eight employees, raised approximately 2 million dollars to develop the test and get it onto the market.
The test is essentially a semen analysis that a man can collect at home. A man would deposit his sperm sample into a temperature controlled kit and then press a button on the lid to release a preservative contained in the cap to keep the sample stable. The sample would then be sent to New England Cryogenic Center using a prepaid FedEx label. Within one day of arrival, the customer would receive the results, including an analysis of the sperm count, sperm concentration, and semen volume. The customer also receives a video of the sperm sample, so they can see their own sperm swimming.
The cost of the test is 99 dollars, but the company also automatically charges a 99 dollar fee that covers storing the sperm for one year. If the customer wants to continue storage after one year, the cost is a 99 dollar annual subscription, or $9.99 per month until the sperm is used or the customer cancels their storage. The cost of the test is essentially on par with the cost of a traditional semen analysis through a fertility center or other laboratory. Storage costs are also similar.
The Dadi test does not seem to provide as much information as a traditional semen analysis though. Unlike a traditional semen analysis, the Dadi test does not seem to provide a result on sperm motility or morphology (shape of the sperm), which are important data points for understanding a man’s fertility potential.
Dadi’s main selling point is that the sample can be collected at home, making a man more comfortable than providing a sample in a laboratory. Many fertility centers provide the same option of letting men collect at home though and ultimately give more information about the sperm sample, including motility and morphology results.
At this point, I would be hesitant to recommend the Dadi test to a patient, who is struggling with infertility. Personally, I would prefer to have all of the information that a traditional semen analysis provides.