DNA Fragmentation Test
Lately more and more specialized laboratory techniques are being used like measuring Sperm DNA Fragmentation (Apoptosis). Sperm DNA fragmentation has been associated with reduced fertilization rates, embryo quality, pregnancy rates and increased miscarriage rates.
This test looks at damage to the DNA within the sperm which carries the important paternal genetic information. Men with an abnormal semen analysis may have increased DNA fragmentation also.
Apoptosis is a normal process of cell death, followed by all cells of each living organism. Infertile individuals, however, have a higher percentage of apoptotic sperm than the fertile population has.
When the apoptotic index is over 40%, there is
a) Reduced chance of pregnancy through intrauterine insemination,
b) Increased chance of spontaneous abortion or premature termination of embryonic development,
c) In case of IVF or ICSI reduced success rates
Causes for the high percentage of Apoptosis /Fragmentation in spermatozoa:
- High Temperatures
- Hot baths
- Use of Laptop on abdomen
- Working in hot environments
- Narcotic drugs
- Long-term steroids use
- Toxic environments
- Genital tract infection
- Unhealthy diet
- Hormonal disorders
- Varicocele, etc
The percentage of apoptosis in spermatozoa can be reduced and the sperm be improved under antioxidants use that enhance the male body and improve sperm quality.
Seminal oxidative stress (OS) is well-known to affect male fertility status.
Increasing evidence suggests that oxidative stress (OS) plays an independent role in the etiology of male infertility, with 30% to 80% of infertile men having elevated seminal reactive oxygen species levels. OS can negatively affect fertility via a number of pathways, including interference with capacitation and possible damage to sperm membrane and DNA, which may impair the sperm’s potential to fertilize an egg and develop into a healthy embryo. Adequate evaluation of male reproductive potential should therefore include an assessment of sperm OS.
We propose the term Male Oxidative Stress Infertility, or MOSI, as a novel descriptor for infertile men with abnormal semen characteristics and OS, including many patients who were previously classified as having idiopathic male infertility. Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) can be a useful clinical biomarker for the classification of MOSI, as it takes into account the levels of both oxidants and reductants (antioxidants). Current treatment protocols for OS, including the use of antioxidants, are not evidence-based and have the potential for complications and increased healthcare-related expenditures.
Utilizing an easy, reproducible, and cost-effective test to measure ORP may provide a more targeted, reliable approach for administering antioxidant therapy while minimizing the risk of antioxidant overdose. With the increasing awareness and understanding of MOSI as a distinct male infertility diagnosis, future research endeavors can facilitate the development of evidence-based treatments that target its underlying cause.
Causes for Sperm Oxidative stress:
- Medication use
- Health problems such as diabetes, some type of cancer, prostatitis, inflammations
- Other factors associated to the male reproduction system.
The Seminal Oxidative Stress is being performed in IVF Athens Center, through a specialized device utilization in Andrology Laboratory.
The test is performed on a sperm sample, with a restrictive parameter in the presence of a sufficient number of spermatozoa (sperm concentration> 1 million sperm / mL).
Recent bibliographic data indicate as more representative the result, when the sexual abstinence period prior to test, is not more than two days.
In pathological cases the appropriated treatment is recommended as well as an advisory lifestyle approach (smoking, diet, exercise, etc) depending on the pathology.
In IVF Athens Center, we firmly believe that the personalized approach and the tailored therapy are the keys to success of each fertility process!