From our work and research in male infertility and in particular the study of semen and its effect on fertilization, we noted that the “superficial” assessment of sperm count, morphology and motility alone are insufficient and that are specific details related to the DNA composition that determine whether sperm can or cannot fertilize an egg that can proceed to a more advanced stage of embryonic development.It was noticed that sperm containing fragmented DNA can only fertilize the egg, but the chromosomal divisions within the nucleus cannot proceed beyond a certain stage, so that implantation is either not possible or if it occurs would lead to inevitable abortion for that pregnancy.Thus the study of DNA fragmentation of sperm is essential in the following conditions:
- Prolonged unexplained infertility
- Repeated IVF failure
- Low fertilization rate of mature oocyte in ICSI
- Poor quality of embryos after fertilization
- Recurrent miscarriages.
- Persistently poor quality of sperm whether it be in terms of sperm concentration, motility or morphology.
- Advanced age in men (over 50 years)
- Exposure of men to harmful environmental factors
Semen is examined in the lab using advanced technology whereby semen samples fixed to a slide are exposed to radio labeled amino acids, in which case sperm with DNA fragmentation will attach to the labeled amino acids whereas normal sperm will not, as detected by fluorescent microscopy.