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Sperm DNA fragmentation

What is DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa?
DNA fragmentation in sperm means that there are alterations in the integrity of the sperm's DNA.

What must be done to carry out this test?
The only thing needed is a semen sample taken in a sterile container.

What to do with the DNA fragmentation is altered?
When the sperm DNA fragmentation test is altered, it is recommended to use testicular sperm instead of ejaculated sperm for in-vitro fertilisation. This implies the use of a technique known as TESE or TESA, which consists in a small aspiration directly from the testicle.

The main reason that this treatment is recommended is that the sperm’s DNA may fragment after leaving the testicle during its passage through the epididymis, which is where sperm are stored before ejaculation.

In which case is the sperm DNA fragmentation test recommended?

  • In long-term evolution sterility cases.
  • Pregnancy failure in previous in-vitro fertilisation.
  • When the age of the man is over 45.
  • In cases of varicocele.
  • When the patient has had previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.

How is sperm DNA fragmentation detected?
There are various methods of measuring fragmentation levels. At the Centre for Embryo Medicine, we use the TUNEL test combined with flow cytometry, the test recommended by leaders in the field of DNA fragmentation studies.

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