Fellow Fertility Review: Are These At-Home Fertility Tests Legit?

Fellow Fertility offers at-home test kits for men seeking to start their fertility journey — but are they legit? In this article, we provide an honest review. 

 

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By: Chris Riley

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Angel Rivera

Last Updated: August 18th, 2021

 

Infertility is Common | What Does Fellow Offer? | How Does it Work? | Semen Analysis | Why Store Sperm? | FAQs | Customer Reviews

Infertility can be embarrassing for people to discuss because it’s deeply personal. Sadly, the stigma it carries is also loaded with many misconceptions.

Some believe infertility is an issue that only affects women, or affects women disproportionality. But, the fact is that infertility is common in both men and women. Men and women experience fertility issues in equal numbers.

The thought of infertility can be demoralizing for many men; seeking help or answers can be extremely uncomfortable. Fertility testing’s an option, but many men simply won’t do it for fear of embarrassment, expensive costs, and more.

But, there’s one company seeking to change the stigma surrounding male infertility. They are asking fellow men to join the conversation.

Fellow Fertility’s seeking to empower men to take control of their fertility journey. This telehealth company offers at-home fertility testing kits for men. They offer an alternative to the traditional — and often expensive — fertility clinic.

But, an important question remains: Are these at-home fertility tests legit? Are they effective? In this article, we’re providing you with an honest review of this company and their services.

Infertility is a Common Issue

Infertility is a common problem among couples seeking to get pregnant. Generally, infertility is defined by the inability to get pregnant after one year of trying. Oftentimes, fertility issues tend to rise as we age. Contrary to popular belief, infertility is not a problem reserved for women alone.

What Causes Male Infertility?

In fact, research suggests that about 1 in 11 men are infertile. Generally, the issue of male infertility’s linked to sperm count — the male cells responsible for fertilizing the female egg. About 1 in 20 men are reported to have low sperm count numbers, which can cause infertility. Roughly 1 in 100 have no sperm at all.

Male infertility can have many different factors, which we won’t get in too deep into with this article. However, common causes can fall under the categories of testicular or ejaculatory function, hormonal disorders, and genetic disorders.

But how do you know you’ve got a fertility problem?

This is where companies like Fellow step in. The only way to evaluate the presence and extent of male infertility is through semen analysis. These tests can determine the number or concentration of sperm, their motility or movement, vitality, and their shape (morphology).

Traditionally, these tests are performed in fertility clinics. But, Fellow offers an alternative by providing at-home, mail-in semen analysis test kits.

Let’s take a closer look at what Fellow offers.

What Does Fellow Offer?

Fellow’s best known for offering at-home, mail-in male fertility test kits. They offer three services: Semen Analysis, Semen Analysis + Cryopreservation, and Vasectomy Test. 

Why do people get semen analysis tests?

There are numerous reasons people choose to get a semen analysis, but here are the most common:

  • It’s recommended by a doctor or specialist.
  • It’s the first step in the fertility evaluation process when trying to conceive.
  • Testing the results of recent vasectomy or vasectomy reversal success.
  • Evaluating how fertility affects and impacts overall health.

Fellow Fertility takes pride in their products, using some of the top doctors in the field and most of the advanced technologies. They care deeply about the science behind their product, and that’s something we really appreciate.

Peer-Reviewed and Clinically Valid Test Kits

Sperm sample viability’s one of the major concerns when it comes to at-home testing kits. That concern is one of the main drawbacks people have with using at-home semen analysis kits instead of traditional fertility clinics. Most at-home tests simply report sperm quality at the time it arrives, which can affect actual fertility metrics.

Fellow’s semen analysis process is different.

One thing that sets Fellow apart from other at-home fertility testing kits is that it’s the only peer-reviewed and clinically valid mail-in semen analysis test kit. Their patent-pending Stabilization TechnologyTM helped ensure that semen samples are kept at optimal conditions during the mail-in process.

Simply put, it ensured the sperm wouldn’t die before they arrived at the lab. Also, their unique algorithm provided an accurate model for the rate of sperm degradation over time, allowing them to accurately calculate sperm sample metrics as if they were taken in a clinic.

How Does the Process Work?

Fellow’s at-home fertility test kit process is fairly simple.

We had one team member handle this part on his own and come back to us with details, and here’s what he found:

Step 1: I purchased a semen analysis test kit and it was shipped to my home. I was able to purchase the kits directly from their website. To ensure privacy, these testing kits were sent to me with discreet packaging, which I appreciated more than I’d realize.

Step 2: Once the kit arrived, I had to register it. The next step was depositing a semen sample. These procedures had to be strictly followed. Samples can easily be contaminated, especially if you use lubricants (which usually contain spermicide).

Step 3: Fellow’s fertility clinicians analyzed the sample once it arrived at their lab. In some cases, they can even provide videos of your sperm cells (which was kind of weird, but also pretty fascinating).

Step 4: I got my physician-approved semen analysis results in 1.5 days.

This approach is in stark contrast to the testing procedures that are found in most fertility clinics. These environments can be stressful and uncomfortable because you have to provide a semen sample onsite. Fellow, on the other hand, allowed this extremely personal process to be done in the comfort of our own home.

These customers certainly prefer the relaxed testing approach Fellow offers:

The Fellow experience was very calming, allowing me to produce a sample in a much more relaxed environment.

—   5/5 stars on reviews.io

I had been looking into testing my fertility and came across Fellow. My experience was great, being able to test from the comfort of my home and getting quick, easy to understand results.

—   5/5 stars on reviews.io

Note: All customer reviews are anonymous to ensure privacy.

Semen Analysis

Fellow’s semen analysis at-home kit is one of the best we’ve found and is the only lab-certified mail-in semen analysis kit that exceeds the semen analysis methods set forth by the FDA.

Also, unlike most at-home semen analysis test providers, Fellow has their own CLIA-certified bio-laboratory. This means the lab meets all federally approved quality regulations. Furthermore, all comprehensive diagnostic results are approved by a physician before being sent back to the customer.

What Do the Tests Analyze?

Fellow Fertility analyzes some of the most important semen health factors to provide us with the most comprehensive results to help us understand our ability to conceive. 

Semen Volume

Semen volume is measured in millimeters (mL). They provided a volume amount of our sample. Volume does fluctuate depending on the interval of time between ejaculations, but normal semen volume ranges between 1.5 to 5 mL.

Sperm Concentration

Sperm concentration refers to the number of sperm per mL within the semen sample. Typically, sperm concentration should be around 15 -260 million sperm per mL.

Sperm Count 

This refers to the total amount of sperm that‘s found within the given semen sample. It’s determined by multiplying sperm concentration by the total volume of the sample. Normal counts range between 40 – 930 million sperm.

Sperm Motility

Sperm need to move (or swim) in order to reach and fertilize the female’s egg. Basically, motility refers to the percentage of sperm that are “swimming” in the semen sample — it should be roughly 40 to 80% of them.

Sperm Morphology

This refers to how the sperm’s shaped. According to Fellow, typical samples only have 4 – 20% normally shaped sperm. But, given that roughly 1,500 are produced per second, that’s not uncommon.

Total Motile Sperm Count

According to Fellow, this is generally considered the most important factor in analyzing male fertility. This result comes by multiplying sperm sample motility, concentration, and semen volume. A total motile count of over 20 million is regarded as normal.

Cryopreservation Option

Customers also have the option to add cryopreservation to their semen analysis kit. This helps ensure the protection and preservation of your sperm.

Why do people store their sperm?

People choose to store their sperm for many reasons, however, these are often the most common reasons:

  • To save the healthiest sperm for the future.
  • To have children in the future, but not for years to come.
  • For those who plan on getting a vasectomy but want to preserve some of their sperm.
  • Those that operate in high-risk environments, or are undergoing medical procedures or treatments.

The process is still done in the comfort of your home. But in addition to the semen analysis, people that choose cryopreservation will have three vials of their sample frozen ( - 320 °F) and stored for future use. This costs more, though.

Fellow Fertility FAQs

How much do their testing kits cost?

Fellow’s Semen Analysis kit had a one-time cost of $189. This is slightly less than its competitors Legacy ($195) and Dadi ($199). Cryopreservation service would have been another $140 per year. 

They also provide refunds if you request them before your kit arrives.

Is Fellow available in all states?

Fellow is available in most states with the exception of three: New York, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

Does the at-home test kit ever expire?

Yes. Expiration dates are listed on the vial preservation solution inside the kit. We asked what would happen if it expires before use, and they said to reach out to their support team and they would send out a new vial of preservation solution.

What happens to my semen sample after it’s analyzed?

Immediately after the sample was analyzed, the semen sample was destroyed (it would be preserved if you paid for the cryopreservation storage). Fellow claims that samples are never sold or used unlawfully.

What Customers Are Saying About Fellow

Customer reviews for Fellow are overwhelmingly positive.

Here’s a couple of examples that speak to its effectiveness:

The test was easy to use and my results were the same as when I had it done at a fertility clinic years ago, so I know the accuracy is spot on. With my results came suggestions on how to improve my sperm health. I felt it was more thorough than the fertility clinics I have been to.

—    5/5 stars on reviews.io

Our experience with Fellow was amazing. We got our test kit quickly, the instructions were crystal clear and we got our results back within days. It was soooo much easier than going to a doctor’s office and the results they give you are very easy to understand.

—    5/5 stars on reviews.io

I was skeptical at first to trust an online fertility company, however, I couldn't have been more pleased with the results. The process is very simple, the price was less than through my insurance company, and the results were delivered quickly. The results were also very comprehensive, providing details on metrics that had not been provided to me with a previous testing clinic. Do yourself a favor and use Fellow.

—    5/5 stars on reviews.io

Bottom Line

So, do we feel Fellow Fertility’s at-home fertility tests are legit? Yes, we sure do. 

Fellow offers an alternative to traditional fertility testing. The convenience of at-home testing plus their science-backed and clinically proven methods made them stand out against the competitors. 

The only drawback they had is being unavailable in three states. Besides that, their reputation and customer reviews make them more than worthy of consideration if you’re seeking male fertility testing. 

Don’t let the stigma keep you from starting your fertility journey. 

Sources:

Sperm Testing | Male Fertility | Fellow

How common is male infertility, and what are its causes? | NICHD

Male infertility | Symptoms & Causes | Healthy Male

Infertility | Reproductive Health | CDC

Development and validation of a novel mail-in semen analysis system and the correlation between one hour and delayed semen analysis testing | Science Direct

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) | FDA

Semen Analysis, Male Fertility Test | Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine

Order At-Home Sperm Testing and Freezing Kit | Legacy

The sperm storage, at-home male fertility kit | Dad