In this study, hypoosmotic swelling (HOS), thermal stress (TS) and modified cervical mucus penetration (mCMP) tests have been used with routine tests for the assessment of semen quality. This is the first study in which the comparison of potential fertility estimation of fore-mention three tests was performed. Bull semen samples were divided into two fertility groups (high: n = 3, low: n = 3), according to their post-insemination NRR (non-return rate). Prior to the tests, post-thawed spermatological characteristics were assessed after which HOS, TS and mCMP tests were carried out. In the HOS test, the ratio of swollen cells, in the TS test the motility, and in the mCMP test the number of spermatozoa penetrating the cervical mucus, were examined. The relationship between the tests and fertility was also evaluated. HOS test was carried out according to different incubation times and temperatures (37 degrees C 60 min/41 degrees C 15 min/41 degrees C 30 min/46 degrees C 15 min/46 degrees C 30 min). For TS test, samples were subjected to various temperatures for different periods (no incubation (37 degrees C)/41 degrees C 15 min/41 degrees C 30 min/46 degrees C 15 min/46 degrees C 30 min). The mCMP test were subjected to various temperatures for the same period (37 degrees C 15 min/41 degrees C 15 min). In this study, post-thawed motility was found to be similar in high and low fertility groups. However, it has been determined that acrosomal (p < 0.01) and other morphological defects (p < 0.05) were low in the high fertility group. When HOS test was carried out at 37 degrees C, no difference was observed between the bulls with high and low fertility, but at 41 and 46 degrees C, results of high fertility group were significantly higher than those of low fertility group (p < 0.01). Similarly in TS test, the progressive motility rates of high fertility bulls was higher after thermal practices at 41 and 46 degrees C (p < 0.01). In mCMP test, at 37 degrees C, the number of cells that had penetrated was similar. However, significant differences were observed in the incubation at 41 degrees C (p < 0.01). It has been concluded that for the estimation of potential fertility of bulls, HOS, TS and mCMP tests, in combination with routine spermatological tests can be used and the use of further penetration distance range (PDR2) in mCMP test and higher temperatures such as 41 degrees C instead of 37 degrees C, during the incubations in the afore-mentioned performance tests, is more determinative. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.