In a previous post we talked about some of the tests performed in the andrology laboratory to screen sperm prior to receiving fertility treatment.
Evidence suggests that increased DNA fragmentation in sperm can negatively effect embryo quality, particularly from day 3 of embryo development, or after embryos have been transferred to the womb.
DNA fragmentation test:
The DNA fragmentation test aims to pinpoint possible breaks in genetic material contained in sperm. It is a specialist test that is not performed on a routine basis.
A recent study conducted in the United States on 215 men from infertile couples, who underwent assisted reproduction treatment at Utah University, analysed and classified DNA into three groups:
– Low damage: 0-30%
– Medium damage: 31-70%
– High damage: 71-100%
This damage was observed throughout four stages of the treatment process:
– 1st and 2nd days of fertilisation
– 3rd and 4th days of fertilisation
– Embryo implantation
In the first assessment phase of the study, for the second and third stage of the process, the group of couples with fewer DNA breaks had a higher number of good quality embryos compared with the second group, and the second group compared with the third group.
Not only has this study confirmed what has been researched for years – that DNA fragmentation in sperm has a notable effect on assisted reproduction treatment.
The effects of this have also been shown to reduce fertility rates, effect embryo quality and slow embryo division. At the same time, a smaller number of embryos reaching blastocyst stage have been noted, also decreasing the possibility of successful implantation.
At ProcreaTec fertility clinic, we work on a daily basis to make sure that fertility treatments are comprehensive, right down to the tinniest details. For this reason, in our lab we can conduct these types of tests so that we can better inform you about your prognosis for assisted reproduction treatments.