Prototype ‘SpermCheck’ fertility test, Virginia, United States, 2000

2000 in Virginia

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Prototype SpermCheck 1 test, invented by John Christian Herr and manufactured by ContraVac, Inc. Designed for home use to detect very low numbers of sperm to determine if men are fertile, it will be of use to men who are taking contraceptives that reduce the sperm count and for men who have been vasectomized

This ‘SpermCheck 1’ test was invented by American professor of cell biology John Christian Herr. His company ContraVac Incorporated manufactured it. This is a prototype of that test. It was for home use to detect very low numbers of sperm. This determined whether a man was fertile. The test was aimed at men taking contraceptives that reduce the sperm count and also men who had been vasectomised.

The test uses a protein to establish whether a patient has a sperm count above or below 250,000 sperm per millilitre. This is essentially a trace level of sperm. The World Health Organisation states a healthy fertile male has approximately 20 million sperm per millilitre.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
Object Number:
paper, plastic
overall (swab): 37 mm x 205 mm .02kg
overall (main object): 80 mm x 63 mm
male fertility test
ContraVac, Inc

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