In a nutshell
This study investigated if the DNA fragmentation index (DFI) is associated with fertility outcomes.
They found that lower DFI was associated with better pregnancy rates (PRs).
Male infertility (MI) is a common cause of couple infertility. MI is involved in 30-50% of cases. Men with abnormal sperm parameters may have MI. Reduced sperm count (SC) and motility (SM; movement) can lead to MI. The cause of poor sperm parameters is not always clear. One possible cause is DNA damage.
When sperm DNA is damaged it can lead to many problems. It can affect the SC and quality. DNA damage is measured using the DNA fragmentation index (DFI). This can be measured using different methods. The sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) is one of these. DFI and SM are both linked to reduced sperm quality. Some studies suggest that DFI may be directly responsible for reduced SM. It is unclear if DFI and SM are associated with poorer fertility outcomes in couples undergoing infertility treatment.
Methods & findings
This study included 3000 couples undergoing assisted reproduction (AR). Male patients were asked to provide a semen sample for analysis. DFI and SM were measured. The main fertility outcome was the pregnancy rate (PR).
Lower DFI was associated with higher PRs. A DFI of 15% or less was associated with a PR of 59.6%. DFI of 30% or higher was associated with a PR of 12.1%. Lower DFI was associated with normal SM. For men with a DFI of 15% or less, 83.6% had normal SM. In men with a DFI of 30% or more, 33.5% had normal SM.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that lower DFI was associated with normal SM and higher PRs.
The fine print
This was an observational study. Different AR methods were used. Other factors could also influence PRs. Live birth rates were not analyzed in this study. More studies are needed.
If you have any concerns regarding infertility please consult with your doctor.
Published By :
Aug 11, 2020