What is DNA Fragmentation in Sperm?
DNA fragmentation in the sperms is separation or breaking of genetic strands resulting in discontinuity. It is important that the genetic material in sperm is normal and intact for normal fertilization and successful implantation and pregnancy. For some reason, if the DNA in the sperm is fragmented then it leads to infertility and failure in IVF treatment. It can occur spontaneously and if such fragmentation accumulates it causes infertility.
What is The Most Common Test for DNA Fragmentation?
The most common test the clinicians perform is the DFI test. The sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) is the most common clinical test used to determine a DFI score although other tests such as the Comet assay, Tunel assay and acridine orange test are also used sometimes.
Why is DNA Fragmentation Important?
This DNA test does not provide any information about the genetic makeup of the sperm, which is essential for normal embryo development. But the high percentage of DNA fragmentation in sperm cells leads to male infertility, which the usual semen analysis cannot predict.
Men with low motility defects often have high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation. The degree of DNA fragmentation in sperm cells can predict outcomes for IVF-ICSI.
What is DNA Fragmentation Index?
It is the main unit of measurement of the DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI). A DFI of 30% or more significantly reduces the success rates after IVF.
The clinical index is a DNA fragmentation index (DFI) of 30%- that means 30% of the sperm have damage and 70% have no detectable damage. Couples with >30% damage are more likely to have success with ICSI than IVF.
This test should be done with patients with low motility sperms and it helps in the decision to go for IVF or IVF-ICSI.