In patients with acceptable sperm count and motility, two patterns of abnormal morphology, judged with strict criteria, were identified and described. Patients with less than 4% normal forms and less than 30% morphology index (summation of normal and slightly amorphous forms) had a fertilization rate of 7.6% of the oocytes (P pattern, poor prognosis). Patients with normal morphology between 4 and 14% had a significantly better fertilization rate of 63.9% of the oocytes (P less than 0.0001). Cases with greater than 14% normal forms fertilized within the normal range for the laboratory. By evaluating sperm morphology with the proposed strict criteria, its predictive value in in vitro fertilization is enhanced.