The integrity of genetic material in the sperm is crucial for successful fertilisation and normal embryo development. Sperm DNA fragmentation is a term used to denote abnormal genetic material within the sperm, which in turn may lead to male subfertility, IVF failure and miscarriage. A conventional semen analysis done for sperm concentration, motility analysis and morphology assessment cannot assess the sperm at the molecular level and as result aid the detection of DNA fragmentation.
A number of sperm DNA fragmentation tests are available on the market, but the one used at the IVF-Life UK, is the SpermComet test which seems to more detailed information compared to the other tests such as SCSA and TUNEL.
Studies in the literature have shown that:
- High sperm DNA fragmentation affects blastocyst development
- Higher the DNA fragmentation levels, higher the chances of failed assisted conception treatment and miscarriage
- Sperm DNA fragmentation is higher in subfertile men with abnormal sperm parameters
- Men with normal sperm parameters are also found to have high sperm DNA fragmentation