Sperm DNA fragmentation test
[DNA fragmentation Index (DFI)]
This is a new and more specialized sperm test that checks the percentage of “broken” – fragmented DNA in the head of spermatozoa and should be performed in the presence of:
- oligo-astheno – teratospermia of very high degree (in the spermiogram) i.e. <5 cm / ml, <10% mobility, <1% normal shape),
- a history of repeated implantation failures following IVF,
- failure of blastocyst formation in IVF,
- low quality embryos following IVF,
- a history of multiple miscarriages.
When the percentage of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA exceeds 25%, the reproductive prognosis is not good and in order to improve it, the couple should undergo assisted reproduction treatment using either microfertilization (ICSI) or more recent methods.
The factors that can cause increased DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa can be:
endogenous: due to abnormal production or maturation of the sperm in the testis or the epididymis or,
Exogenous: Pathological conditions such as varicocele, exposure to high temperatures (professional occupation, high fever), testicular inflammation (orchitis); radiotherapy or chemotherapy can cause an increase in DNA fragmentation percentage in spermatozoa. In some cases the damage may be permanent.
If I have a high percentage of fragmented DNA Is there a treatment?
If the percentage of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA exceeds 25%, the chances for pregnancy may increase if the couple proceeds to IVF.
If the cause of the high fragmentation is a large varicose vein, its surgical correction may improve the success rates of the extracorporeal.
Also, medication with antioxidants (vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, carnitine, etc.) for 2-3 months before trying assisted reproduction may improve success rates, as fragmentation is produced by a cellular oxidation process caused by substances associated with inflammation. Due to simplicity of the treatment, the absence of side effects and its beneficial effect to other aspects of man’s life, antioxidant treatment is proposed, especially for men at high risk for DNA fragmentation.
Learn more about microfertilization
Learn more about recent IVF techniques for treating male infertility.
Watch the speech of Dr. Ioannidis about treating male infertility.