Submitted by Shelby D Burns Fri 07/29/2011
Couple A new test is out there for couples looking to hedge their bets with IVF. Fertility experts have developed a simple test which may help them succeed with IVF treatment by identifying the healthiest sperm. By using this test, families can reduce the financial stress caused by repeated procedures. The test is called “Sperm Comet” and there is nothing else like it available for anxious couples with fertility challenges. Panos Lioulias of Queen’s University Belfast’s business school promoted the test and claimed it will customize treatments and increase chance of success with artificial reproductive techniques (ART). Through more conventional screening, sperm is usually visually evaluated by observing its shape and speed and also concentration under a microscope. The Sperm Comet test, developed by fertility doctor Professor Sheena Lewis, checks sperm at a more precise level looking for tiny tears and breaks in the DNA. Damaged sperm are not likely to produce a successful pregnancy. Even if conception occurs, it is probable that the fetus will miscarry early in the pregnancy. During the test, sperm is observed through a special lens. Healthy sperm is easily identified as it appears to look like a a single dot. Damaged sperm actually looks like a comet with a glowing tail behind it. Finding and using the healthy sperm gives better odds of successful conception and pregnancy during all types of ART. For men with damaged sperm under 50% they predict success with IVF. If damaged sperm is over 50% doctors recommend going straight to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where the sperm is placed inside the egg in a laboratory. It is allowed to develop then implanted in the uterus. Ask your fertility clinic about Sperm Comet if you think it would helpful to you.