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                      The driving reason of sperm is an unmarred task: to hold genetic material (DNA) from one biological parent. Further, it integrates with the genetic material contained within the egg. Eventually giving rise to a different and completely unique genetic code for the offspring. Think about the structure of sperm. The majority of actual property is dedicated to its head. It contains chromosomes, molecules of DNA that are coiled tightly inside a nucleus. The characteristic of the neck and tail are to permit the sperm to move its precious “cargo” most efficiently. Since DNA contains all the instructions for the improvement of an embryo, it makes sense that the genetic integrity of sperm is a key attention in fertility. Any damage to the DNA inside sperm may also interfere with the sperm’s ability to properly fertilize an egg or grow to be a healthy, thriving embryo. That’s exactly the problem with sperm DNA fragmentation.

Does it affect male fertility?

Sperm DNA fragmentation is much less frequently tested, and normally much less well understood, than other semen parameters and sperm quality measures, along with sperm count, motility, and morphology. But as research keeps making clear the connection among sperm DNA fragmentation and birth rates, there’s a rising belief among specialists that sperm genetic integrity can be one of the maximum essential elements for male fertility. As such, sperm DNA fragmentation test kits are in particular beneficial while trying to conceive.

What is sperm DNA fragmentation?

                               In order to understand sperm DNA fragmentation, we first want to understand the right structure of DNA. DNA is organized in a lengthy, spiral staircase-like structure referred to as a “double helix.” The steps of the staircase are made of pairs of chemical compounds referred to as nucleotides; the different combos of those base pairs are what create every organism’s particular genetic sequence. The nucleotides are bonded to every other, and to the lengthy strands of sugars and phosphates that make up the “railings” of the staircase. DNA is packaged into structures referred to as chromosomes. While maximum cells within side the human body comprise forty six chromosomes, intercourse cells or “gametes” (eggs and sperm) comprise simply 23. When they combine, they devise a totally found out organism with the proper number of chromosomes. Sperm DNA fragmentation refers to an alternate or deletion of bases, or a damage or separation in a single or each strands of DNA contained inside sperm. This damage can arise at numerous different factors within side the sperm’s life cycle: while it’s being produced within the testicles through a sequence of cell divisions referred to as spermatogenesis, while it’s in “storage” within side the epididymis prior to ejaculation, or maybe possibly post-ejaculation. As sperm DNA fragmentation isn’t tested as part of a traditional semen analysis, sperm DNA fragmentation test kits play an important role

Sperm DNA fragmentation: natural repair?

                  DNA damage is actually quite common in the human body; however maximum cells have the capacity to identify and correct damage to their personal genetic code. While immature sperm which are still in development may have the ability to repair their personal DNA to a few extents, mature sperm do not. Eggs can actually really compensate for this. Upon fertilization, eggs have their personal processes to repair mistakes in sperm DNA. But if the damage is just too extensive the damage can endure to the embryo stage. The result can be the embryo’s failure to develop or implant, miscarriage, or genetic abnormalities or contamination in the offspring

Understanding DNA fragmentation index

      The term DNA fragmentation index (DEI) refers to the percentage of sperm in a particular semen sample with fragmented DNA. A better DNA fragmentation index means that a larger percentage of a person’s sperm includes genetic damage. While professionals disagree on particular cut-off values, typically speaking, a DNA fragmentation index over 30–50% is taken into consideration high, and may affect fertility. In a few cases, sub fertility can be experienced even among people with a DNA fragmentation index of 15–30%, especially if other abnormal semen parameters are present or the woman partner is older. Sperm DNA fragmentation checking out is the most effective manner to become aware of the DFI.

Interpretation of DFI

Excellent to Good (less than or equal to 15% DFI)

 Good to Fair (more than 15% to less than 25% DFI)

Fair to Poor (more than or same to 25% to less than 50% DFI)

 Very Poor (more than or same to 50% DFI)

Sperm DNA fragmentation and other semen parameters

 The men who’ve excessive levels of sperm DNA fragmentation also are much more likely to produce other unusual semen parameters, which includes poor sperm motility or morphology. 1000 infertile men with isolated sperm defects determined that levels of sperm DNA fragmentation were significantly higher among men with bad sperm motility. Approximately 31% of these men had excessive  sperm DNA fragmentation, It’s probably that the identical underlying elements that make contributions to abnormal semen parameters, which includes advanced paternal age, smoking, or toxin exposure, additionally motive high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation. There can be other connections or mechanisms connecting those measures, as well. This is important to understand because, as said above, abnormal semen parameters can compound sperm DNA fragmentation issues. However, as we’ll discover below, high sperm DNA fragmentation can affect fertility even if now no longer paired with different elements.

DNA fragmentation and male fertility

                     Concept is actually possible for people with high sperm DNA fragmentation. Even in research that report decrease pregnancy charges, longer time to higher miscarriage costs among men with a high DNA fragmentation index, the full-time period pregnancies had been achieved. The men with high charges of sperm DNA fragmentation are at a multiplied risk for infertility. Men presenting for infertility evaluation, which had not been capable of obtain a pregnancy for a year or more, had, on average, over two times as many sperm with DNA fragmentation as fertile men (27.6% vs. 13.3%). couples experiencing infertility or miscarriage had been much more likely to have a male partner with moderate or high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation. The ‘spermatozoa with denatured DNA had been the best predictor for whether or not a couple might now no longer obtains pregnancy’.

Sperm DNA fragmentation and embryo quality

                           Embryo quality is a time period utilized in fertility medicine. It’s a manner of “grading” the health and development of an embryo created in the lab. There are several different techniques used to attain embryo quality, however maximum observe the number of cells, cell size, and rate and sample of cell division, for you to predict the chance that the embryo will implant and become a healthy baby. Embryo quality may also refer to embryo genetic health. In many instances of high sperm DNA fragmentation, embryos fail early, during the 4- to 8-cell stage. The sperm DNA integrity can cause “difficulty achieving the blastocyst stage.” Past that point, there’s a few evidence that high sperm DNA fragmentation is correlated with lower embryo quality scores, however research outcomes are mixed. In IVF patients, increasing DNA fragmentation indexes had been related to lower embryo scores. Those with a DNA fragmentation index above 60% scored about 1/2 of in addition to people with a DNA fragmentation index of less than 20%.In any other examine of 286 embryos created with IVF, there had been several important correlations: Higher sperm DNA fragmentation become associated with higher embryo Aneuploidy and increasing paternal age become related to both. For men over 50, sperm DNA fragmentation costs had been around 40%, and much less than 30% of embryos created from their sperm had been genetically normal.

Can it cause miscarriages?

   The sperm DNA damage is related to pregnancy loss, especially early being pregnant loss, and can be implicated in recurrent miscarriage as well. In one study of IVF patients, couples wherein the male partner had high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation have been significantly much more likely to experience miscarriage as compared to couples wherein the male partners had low sperm DNA fragmentation rates. The identical study additionally observed that being pregnant rates were lower for high DNA fragmentation index patients. That high sperm DNA fragmentation can compromise ‘embryo viability,’ ensuing in being pregnant loss. In high DNA fragmentation index become once more correlated with higher miscarriage rates. In miscarriage rates for high-DFI couples become about 27%, as opposed to 10% for low-DFI couples. The early miscarriage rate for high DNA fragmentation index couples (over 30%) was 27%, compared to 8% for the low-DFI couples.

What causes sperm DNA fragmentation?

                      There are some possible methods that sperms’ genetic material becomes damaged, and it is able to occur at numerous factors in the technique of producing and storing sperm.

1. Errors or damage during “condensation”

During spermatogenesis the genetic material inside sperm condenses. The DNA wraps round a few particular proteins to arrange itself snugly in the sperm’s head. This allows massive quantities of DNA to occupy a totally small space, and can protect the DNA from damage. But this method additionally has the ability to introduce damage. Firstly, it’s quite a massive quantity of genetic material that desires to be compacted tightly within the nucleus of the sperm. It’s possible that this twisting should reason physical breaks within the DNA.

2 .Oxidative stress

Free radicals, additionally known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), are volatile molecules produced as herbal byproducts of everyday life. At low levels, ROS aren’t generally damaging and might also be useful to cells. But if left unchecked, free radicals can purpose damage to different molecules inside cells, together with DNA. This damage is referred to as “oxidative stress. Bodies normally use compounds referred to as antioxidants to neutralize those molecules and prevent damage. Antioxidants are produced certainly with the aid of using body and absorbed from meals or supplements. In fact, semen is understood to include relatively high portions of antioxidants together with nutrition, vitamin C, and glutathione, to defend sperm from oxidative stress. Antioxidants also are produced in different components of the male reproductive system, such as the epididymis, in which sperm is stored.

Sperm DNA fragmentation Test
Sperm DNA fragmentation Test

Risk factors

              There are certain elements of a person’s clinical records or way of life that could affect how likely they’re to have high sperm DNA fragmentation. Here are among the key risk factors.

  • Parental age
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Using alcohol
  • Using certain illicit drugs
  • Being overweight
  • Having certain past or present infections
  • Being exposed to toxins
  • Overheating the testicles
  • Having experienced trauma to the testicles
  •  Having a previous vasectomy or major abdominal or pelvic surgical procedure
  •   Having a records of undecided testicles
  •  Having certain clinical conditions, along with tumors and chronic illnesses, inclusive of sickle cell disease

How to prevent?

Male infertility is not preventable. However, try to keep away from a few known reasons of male infertility. For example:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Limit or abstain from alcohol.
  • Steer clear of illicit drugs.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don’t get a vasectomy.
  • Avoid things that cause prolonged warmth for the testicles.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid exposure to pesticides, heavy metals and different toxins.

Who should be tested?

All fertility patients, especially:

  • Patients with unexplained infertility.
  • Patients identified with male-factor infertility of an unknown cause.
  • Patients with records of miscarriages.
  • Patients with poor embryo quality throughout IVF treatment.
  • Those over 40.
  • Those with records of cancer.
  • Those below treatment with prescription medications
  •  Those with life-style behavior which can have an effect on sperm health, such as smoking.
  • Anyone who needs extra thorough information in their sperm health.

Read More

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