A new breakthrough in male fertility testing has been developed at Queens University in Belfast.
This is good news for millions of couples who can now know in advance which fertility treatment is most likely to work for them.
SpermComet provides unique information by measuring damaged DNA in individual sperm to predict the success of infertility treatments and fast-track couples to the treatment most likely to succeed, reports UTV.
This break-through test is said to cut down waiting times and heartache, and improve the chances of conception. This new test provides unique information that no other test offers.
Professor Sheena Lewis, who leads the Reproductive Medicine research group at Queen's and has spent more than a decade researching the test, says in the utv report, "One in six couples has difficulty in having a family. In 40% of cases, the problems are related to the man".
"Until now, there have been few accurate ways of measuring a man's fertility. Traditionally, the diagnosis of male infertility has relied on semen analysis. This provides the basic information on which fertility specialists base their initial diagnosis. However, its clinical value in predicting male fertility or success with infertility treatment is limited, particularly if the semen analysis results are normal".
Prof. Sheena Lewis also says about the new test, "The SpermComet test is so called because it looks just like a comet in the sky. The head of the 'comet' is undamaged DNA and the tail is damaged DNA. From the tail of the comet we can measure exactly the amount of damaged DNA in each individual sperm."
Adding, "Good quality sperm DNA is closely associated with getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, and the SpermComet Test is the most sensitive test available for sperm DNA testing."
The test is already available through a number of fertility clinics in Glasgow, Dublin and Galway.