Viral TikTok video suggests that men can check the potency of their semen by doing a test that requires just a glass of water.
Experts do not recommend the at-home-water-in-a-glass test to ascertain semen health.
A TikToker with over 281K followers by the name @mrbetyoudidntknow has posted a video that shows a woman educating viewers on how a glass of water is an efficient at-home way to find out if the “soldiers are marching” for men. The post has garnered over 2.9 million views, 352.2K likes, and has been shared over 33K times.
Even though most contributors found it funny, other users were curious and interested, asking if anyone had tried it and if the video contents were fact or nonsense.
According to the video, a glass should be filled with room temperature water to one inch below the rim of the glass. The semen should then be left for a minimum of 2-3 minutes and a maximum of 5 minutes. If semen rests at the bottom of the glass, it means that the health of the semen is very good; if it floats in the middle of the glass, it means that the semen has average health and if it floats at the top of the glass, it shows very poor semen health that requires immediate medical attention.
A basic online search revealed similar content published on nairaland.com, Facebook, YouTube, and many other online platforms, all making the same claim as the TikTok video in question. None provided any scientific explanation as to why this would be an effective test.
DUBAWA spoke to Dr. Alfred Ogoe, a Urologist at the Jubail Specialist Hospital in Tema, who expressed surprise at the claim.
“I have never heard of this before. As scientists, it is important to look at semen under a microscope to determine semen health. There is no study that supports this unless I have not seen it,” he said.
Dr. Ogoe added that no doctor would approve such a test to determine true semen health.
A search conducted by DUBAWA to find the scientific basis for examining semen health through at-home-water-tests did not yield any meaningful results. The only water-related test DUBAWA found relating to semen was the hypoosmotic swelling test which analyses the integrity of sperm membranes.
Determining semen health the “scientific way”
After semen is collected, it is sent to the laboratory for tests to find out; the number of sperms present within it, any abnormalities in the shape and movement of the sperms, and possible signs of infections.
Tests like semen analysis, which looks closely at the semen to evaluate semen concentration, sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm motility, and the hypo-osmotic swelling test, which also looks at the sperm plasma membrane ( a vital proponent for determining sperm motility and fertilisation and a useful indicator of fertility of a sperm) among others, are conducted to determine the quality of semen or better put, the quality of sperm in the semen.
Semen and water contact
Online health platforms like thehealthblog.com suggest that variables like temperature and consistency are factors to be considered when looking at what happens to semen when it comes into contact with water.
Semen contains water; however, the consistency may differ in semen depending on circumstances like diet. Whereas some semen may be thick, some may have a more watery, thin texture, which makes them sink easily in water. The thicker counterparts may usually stay afloat for a longer period. This however does not mean much for semen health.
There is no scientific backing to the at-home-water-in-a-glass semen test suggested in the TikTok video. Experts recommend proper laboratory testing to determine semen health.