testhim - our foundations and history

Many companies develop following a personal experience or from the realisation that no one is providing what you need. testhim is no different.

Michael, Ian and Toby (testhim founders) all had exactly the same vision despite coming from very different worlds.

With Michael as a biomedical scientist, Toby a full-time train driver by day (and night), racing driver at weekends and Ian an Acupuncturist it seems almost impossible to imagine how their lives could come together. None the less, they did!

Michael and Toby both had their own male fertility experiences and were equally let down by the process. Both on a different path at a different time yet their experiences nearly identical and shared with thousands of other men.

Often left out of fertility conversations with the focus solely on their partner many men feel isolated and lost with little idea what to do for the best or where to turn. Made to just feel like a sperm donor with little advice, support or testing men feel completely left out of the process. Michael and Toby experienced exactly this and know first-hand what it’s like to be a man on the receiving end of this lack of support.

Years later the outcome for each of them was very different yet somehow their conclusions were the same; something needs to change and men deserve better.

Ian on the other hand come to the fertility world in a very different way. Having completed a degree in Acupuncture and undergone advanced fertility training with Zita West he had been working with couples trying to start a family for over 15 years. It was through this that he saw how men like Michael and Toby weren’t being served. Nobody was listening to how they felt nor were they giving them the time and energy to help them understand their fertility. In fact, it seemed, fertility was all about the women and the men didn’t seem to matter.

Through a strange series of events involving Fertility Network UK and Toby’s racing campaign Ian and Toby were introduced in March 2020. Fertility Network UK were interested in trialling a men’s only support group which Ian and Toby went on to host and has now become the Himfertility support group; a regular monthly fixture in the FNUK support calendar.  

Michael and Toby then met as a result of Toby’s motorsport campaign, racing for fertility. Michael, suitably impressed by what Toby was doing, sponsored elements of his 2021 race season which saw Toby crowned as Ginetta GT Academy champion. It was at Brands Hatch in May 2021 where all 3 of them met for the first time and shortly after that something magical occurred.

Three men all with very different experiences and backgrounds, but with a unified vision, started talking about how to support men properly. Each of them recognising from their own experience the flaws in the system and how much of a dis-service this was to men and ultimately couples.

They knew it was time to make some waves and create change. This was the moment that testhim started to come to life.

Over the remainder of 2021 regular conversations left the 3 of them buzzing with excitement realising that they had the chance to do something big and to change the world of male fertility.

By the end of 2021 the testhim “brand” was developed and the vision started to become a reality.

They began to flesh out what it was they wanted to achieve and how they wanted to do it. There were 4 key elements to what they wanted from testhim. They were:

  • raise awareness of male infertility
  • educate men on their fertility
  • provide access to comprehensive tests
  • ensure men had support

Given Toby and Ian’s involvement with FNUK and Himfertility it was clear that testhim were going to be keen supporters of the charity. So, from the off they were proud to become Gold sponsors of the charity ensuring that the circle of support for men was complete allowing them to access emotional and peer support through the charity and support group.

The key part of testhim has been the development of the free health questionnaire.

This seemingly simple and quick questionnaire does so much more than just prompt some thinking on a man’s behalf.

The questionnaire was developed in partnership with a world leader in Andrology, Professor Ralf Henkel. With questions that are fully validated against male fertility research the testhim questionnaire helps men get a far better understanding of their fertility.

With each question weighted in terms of “fertility risk” men are given instant recommendations on how to improve their health and fertility and what additional tests they may need to consider.

As testhim continues to develop more elements will be added to the service but their mission remains the same; to create a positive change in the world of male fertility by providing essential guidance, education and testing for men.

testhim’s aim is to create a more streamlined and efficient system for men allowing them to fully understand their fertility, how this could be impacting their chances of starting a family along with their treatment options.

And the long term mission of testhim? To see change in national fertility policy ensuring comprehensive male fertility testing is part of the NHS and a standard treatment pathway.

Like what we’re doing and what we stand for? Great, come and follow us on Instagram and share our story with others. The more people we reach the more people we can help.