UK fertility experts claim to have develop a simple test that allows couples to be fast-tracked to the treatment which is most likely to succeed against the conventional IVF treatments.
Several tests have been launched to help women in recent years but the SpermComet kit is one of the first to help men desperate to become fathers.
Advertisement"We have found a way to fast-track couples to the best treatment for them, to save them time and money," the Daily Mail quoted Professor Sheena Lewis, a leading fertility doctor who developed the SpermComet test, as saying.
Most fertility clinics judge the quality of a man's sperm simply by looking at its shape, speed and concentration under the microscope.
But the SpermComet test checks for tiny tears and breaks in sperm's DNA.
Sperm with damage to their genetic material are less likely to make a woman pregnant and if a woman does conceive, she is more likely to miscarry.
The test uses chemicals to 'relax' the tightly coiled strands of DNA in each individual sperm and then uses an electric field to separate them out.
Intact DNA bunches together and shines brightly, like the head of a comet, while broken material fans out and gives off a weaker glow.
By looking at the length of the tail of damaged DNA, the scientists can tell how badly affected a man's sperm is.
Those couples deemed to be facing trouble are then advised to move straight to more complex fertility treatments, such as IVF, or for those whose sperm is in the worst shape, ICSI, where the sperm is injected directly into the egg.
SpermComet costs around 600 pounds.
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