Forget spit. Some companies are betting men will be willing to send them another, perhaps more personal, piece of their genetic code: sperm.
Start-ups, including Legacy and Dadi, are selling kits online that men can use to collect their sperm wherever they please, mail it back and freeze it for months or even years. These companies are pitching the addition of convenience and comfort — minus a trip to the doctor.
At-home genetic tests have already gotten people comfortable with swabbing their cheeks or spitting in a tube and sending off their DNA. More recently, start-ups like Hims and Roman have started selling erectile dysfunction pills over the internet. These companies have championed putting the consumer in control of their health.
Similarly, these direct-to-consumer sperm freezing kits say they're empowering men to be more proactive about fertility. Even though men are responsible for issues in one-third of infertile couples, some people still view fertility as a woman's issue.
Doctors applaud efforts to get men talking about fertility. However, they worry men might not get the full story.
"I think in general there's a little bit sky is falling mentality that may be a little misguided with what [companies are] saying," said Dr. Jesse Mills, an associate urology professor and director of the men's clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles.