Fertility treatment can be a time-consuming and stressful process, but the Belfast company has launched a service that makes domestic couples much faster and easier.
Headquartered in South Belfast, Examen is a health diagnostics company with clients from all over the world, but the new sperm analysis service is being offered to men and couples living within an hour of the Belfast laboratory.
A sperm analysis is an important first step for couples with a fertility problem because it determines a man’s sperm count and health. Meanwhile, the Examen precision test measures sperm DNA quality to get a more complete picture of fertility.
“We just realized that from Covid, there has been a massive amount of waste for people trying to get even a basic semen analysis test,” said Professor Shena Lewis, the company’s chief executive.
The company aims to defeat post-pandemic delays – and some stigmas – by allowing humans to generate a sample for analysis in the privacy of their homes before taking it to a lab for testing.
Professor Lewis adds that a common misconception is that fertility problems are usually on the female side – in fact, we now know that the ratio is 50/50 between men and women, which is why male fertility testing is such an important part of the process.
“The problem now is that a man may have to wait nine months for a sperm test,” explains Professor Lewis. But it hinders their fertility treatment until they get results which leads to long delays.
“If a woman is 39 or older, her fertility can actually decline every month, and if a couple has to wait a year for the first test, that could reduce her chances of getting inspired.” Only he has a family of two.
Instead, the new Examen service will allow men to log into examenlab.com, receive a production kit shipped to home, run a sample in person, and then have the sample delivered to a Belfast lab within one hour of pre-production of the sample. – Book a meeting.
Professor Lewis adds: “We will test the sample and send you the results with a simple explanation within 7-10 days.
“Our employees are trained scientists and will test for quality standards, so the results we deliver to patients will be acceptable wherever they go.
“They will find out if it is a man’s problem, so at least they will have a starting point with that. This will speed up its process and allow men to take an active part in the fertility journey.”
There is no magic bullet for fertility: Professor Lewis estimates that with IVF treatment, couples have a 30% chance of having a baby, which means they often have to go through the process two or three times per pregnancy. Time is of the essence.
“The company was developed by Queen’s University and we feel a moral duty to help the people of Northern Ireland,” he added. “This is something we can do very easily and very quickly and it will definitely speed up their journey.”
Examen is offering a 15% discount on all exams booked in March 2022 with the code March 15
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