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Male infertility breakthrough

New test will reduce waiting times for treatment and improve chances of conception, say scientists.

Posted: 8 June 2011
by Lara Brunt
Breakthrough test measures damaged DNA in sperm
The breakthrough test measures damaged DNA in sperm

A new test for male infertility has been developed that will save time, money and heartache for couples desperate for a baby.

The SpermComet test measures damaged DNA in individual sperm to predict the success of infertility treatments and fast-track couples to the treatment most likely to succeed.

It provides unique information that no other test offers and is the result of 10 years research by scientists at Queen's University Belfast.

"One in six couples has difficulty in having a family. In 40% of cases, the problems are related to the man," said Professor Sheena Lewis who leads the university's reproductive medicine research group.

"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 fertility clinics in Glasgow, Dublin and Galway, and a new company has been set up to market SpermComet to the rest of the UK.

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