Prediction of in vitro fertilization outcome by sperm penetration assay with TEST-yolk buffer preincubation

Y. Soffer*, A. Golan, A. Herman, M. Pansky, E. Caspi, R. Ron-El

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate sperm penetration assay (SPA) value as a screening tool before in vitro fertilization (IVF). Design: Follow-up study comparing sperm variables and IVF outcome. Setting: Infertile couples in an academic research environment. Patients, Participants: Two hundred forty-one infertile couples scheduled for IVF. Interventions: Sperm penetrating assay with cold Tes-TRIS (TEST) Yolk buffer semen preincubation and IVF. Main Outcome Measures: Percent of egg penetration recoded into poor and good category (0% to 20%, 21% to 100%) and compared with fertilization, embryo transfer, and pregnancy rate (PR) in IVF, as well as sperm count motility and morphology. Results: Sperm penetrating assay predicted fertilization with a high negative (74%) and positive (82%) predictive rate and good specificity value (0.96). One of 31 patients in the poor SPA category (3%) fertilized >50% of eggs; no pregnancy occurred. In the good SPA category, 87 of 210 patients (41%) fertilized ≥50% of eggs with 34.3% PR. Sperm penetrating assay correlated better with fertilization rate than did sperm count and motility but not morphology. Conclusions: Sperm penetrating assay is a useful screening assay before IVF together with sperm morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-562
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Sperm egg penetration
  • TEST-yolk buffer enhanced capacitation
  • count
  • in vitro fertilization
  • morphology
  • sperm motility


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