Sperm testing can be one of two things: either actual DNA testing of the sperm sample in order to extract a DNA profile or a type of test that will simply tell you whether a suspected semen stain is really semen or just some other stain. This article tackles the latter example rather than the former.

It is possible to buy a home semen testing kit which allows you to test the stain and verify the presence of semen yourself. You simply rub a wet swab over the sample or cut it out of the surface it is on, and then it is placed in the dissolution material; there may be very minor variations to the test. The problem with these home tests is the possibility of generating false-positive results; in other words, the test may conclude there is the presence of semen but this would in fact be wrong.

Proper sperm testing is done under laboratory conditions following a more thorough procedure and involves two tests.

Part one of the test: this is the presumptive semen detection test and is referred to as thus as it may generate the false-positive results mentioned above. The thymophthalein monophosphate test will measure the levels of phosphates activity which is typically found in sperm. However, this test can also give positive results for other body fluids as well as epithelial cells (cells lining the cavities of our body). Although the test can give false positives, it cannot give false negatives. If the result shows positive, it is time to move onto the next testing stage.

The second step is known as the RSID confirmatory test (Rapid Stain Identification). Confirmation for the presence of seminal fluids will in this case be established by adding the suspected sperm sample to an immunochromatographic strip.

How Much Semen do I need?

The amount of semen for the sperm test to be completed successfully can be a minute, even as small as 0.5cm. However, the more semen there is the better.

If you have done an online and at-home “DIY’’ semen test and have been given a positive result you need to bear in mind that these sperm tests, as mentioned, are unreliable, and thus if you choose to purchase a complete laboratory test be ready for the possibility that the results you receive may contradict the result of the test you carried out with your at-home kit. The online test kit produces false results because it reacts positively to the presence of other body fluids or presence of cells that have nothing to do with semen.

If you wish to carry out sperm testing, complete and thorough laboratory analysis is the option to go for in order to have results which are accurate and reliable.