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Women who wait until their mid to late 30s to marry and have babies run the risk of ending up with a guy who is sterile—unless he’s impregnated other women earlier in life. The rub with that is women who’ve spent most of their fertile years educating themselves, advancing their careers, and increasing their incomes. Hard-working women don’t want to blow their hard-earned money on ex-wives and children, legitimate or otherwise, their newfound Romeos may have left in their wakes. A Taiwanese company has a device that may prove useful in sorting out the fertile prospective mates from the infertile.

This device, iSperm, is an attachment to an iPad that analyzes semen to determine if the relative fertility of the donor. The FDC hasn’t approved it for use by humans yet but has been used successfully for some time on farm animals. It’s expected to sell for less than $200 retail. Already for sale at drug stores are sperm test kits that sell for $40. However, they’re only good for one test and only count the number of sperm in the sample. They don’t differentiate between inactive and mobile whereas iSperm counts the total sperm cells in the sample, the concentration, and the number and percentage of mobile cells. It also provides video output that can be captured and transferred. Another feature is its speed: 7 seconds to capture the data and 10 more to analyze it.

Woman using iSperm or other sperm tests to screen suitors will have to develop creative ways of capturing samples. Giving a prospective or first date a specimen cup and sending him to the john would turn many of them off. Taking the matter in hand herself may be a viable alternative because the guy might not notice her capturing his sample in a cup. Not mentioned is whether mixing her saliva with the captured sample would render it useless. If it doesn’t, he’d never need to know he’d been tested. However, he might expect her to reprise her sampling technique often than she likes.

Perhaps the best solution is for dating service to require males to supply samples when signing up. The service would have their sperm tested and posted in their files. Woman could use his sperm count as a factor when selecting dates. Men with low sperm counts might be more popular with women who don’t desire children.