The sperm apoptosis test is used to determine whether the male partner of an infertile couple has a high, fair, or poor fertility potential.
poptosis is a mode of programmed cellular death based on a genetic mechanism that induces a series of cellular, morphological and biochemical alterations, resulting in fragmentation of genomic DNA. The sensitive TUNEL method is based on the detection of single and double stranded DNA breaks occurring at early stages in apoptosis. After an enzymatic reaction, the fluorescein label incorporated at the damaged sites of DNA is visualized by fluorescence microscopy. The apoptotic sperm appear greener, while the normal non-apoptotic sperm take up more of the DAPI stain and appear blue. Partially apoptotic sperm will appear partially blue and green. This test allows the detection of apoptosis at the single cell level and may serve as an indicator for use of antioxidants prior to IVF.