Sperm DNA Fragmentation

Almost 40-50% of infertility cases are associated with male infertility. A semen analysis measures the sperm concentration, motility, and morphology to determine your fertility. When the routine semen analysis shows normal sperm morphology, motility and concentration estimation of sperm DNA integrity may predict male infertility. Sperm DNA fragmentation is independent of the count, motility or morphology.

Sperm DNA fragmentation is a test that denotes the abnormal genetic material within your sperm that may be the reason for infertility. A higher percentage of DNA damage may lead to difficulty in achieving pregnancy by IUI or IVF. Sperm DNA fragmentation is higher in infertile males.

At ZIVA, sperm DNA fragmentation can now explain the “unexplained” infertility in most of the cases. The degree of DNA fragmentation is measured by DNA fragmentation index (DFI).

Factors that can affect are:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to high levels of pollutants
  • Testicular cancer
  • Exposure to chemicals and radiations

The most common test for DNA fragmentation is the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). SCSA is done by applying a stress (low pH) on the sperms and then labeling them with a dye that attaches only on the broken ends of the DNA. If the DNA is intact then no dye will be attached on the sperm.

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