DNA testing can be done with a number of samples including sperm. However, some people seeking sperm testing do not necessarily wish to have a DNA profile extracted from a sperm sample but rather wish to simply confirm the presence of semen on a garment, a sheet or any other surface they may suspect the semen to be on.

Sperm testing can be done using kits that are purchased online- to be noted that we are now talking about determining the presence of semen and not any DNA tests related to testing this sample. Sperm testing is used in cases of suspected infidelity but is not related to an infidelity DNA test as it does not concern itself with any testing of genetic material. It is possible to obtain online semen detection kits but these are not entirely reliable or accurate. Essentially, the stained patch is scraped or rubbed with a wet swab or simply cut and then placed in a solution that will determine the presence of sperm. This test can sometimes generate false positives and might thus, erroneously tell you that semen is present when in fact, the stain is not semen at all.

A more accurate form of sperm testing can be done in laboratories under very specific testing conditions. There are two main types of tests carried out, one following the other. The first testing stage (or rather ‘screening’) is the presumptive test which is the thymophthalein monophosphate (TMP) semen test. This test is very sensitive to the presence of acid phosphatase in sperm. This test is referred to as a presumptive test and at this stage of testing there is still the change of getting a false positive result. This type of test is what is offered in some home kits and for the reasons mentioned may not entirely reliable. This test cannot produce false negative results; thus, it will not tell you there is no trace of sperm when in fact there is.

If the results of the presumptive test are positive scientists will still need to exclude the possibility of the false positive result. They will hence carry out further sperm testing and move on to the second stage. This stage is called Rapid Stain Identification confirmatory test (abbreviated to RSID). In this test, the antibodies are tested on an immunochromatographic strip to confirm conclusively the presence of semen.

Sperm testing can be accurate and give you the information you need; however, you must opt for the complete test done by a competent laboratory as home tests may not be reliable.

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