My doctor has recommended a DNA Fragmentation test. What is this?
A semen analysis is an excellent means to test the count, motility and morphology of sperm cells however it gives no information about the DNA contained within the sperm. Very often couples will experience fertility issues despite having a normal semen analysis. Many women believe that the problem lies with the woman when a pregnancy does not occur or is lost, when it is possible their partner may be experiencing infertility due to high levels of DNA Fragmentation in their sperm. This male fertility test is a separate test to a semen analysis and identifies if there is DNA damage present within the sperm cells. Your doctor may recommend this fertility test if the male partner is of an increased paternal age, you have experienced recurrent miscarriage, or unexplained fertility issues.
DNA is found is every body cell and carries a genetic code but unlike our other cells, sperm DNA have poor repair mechanisms. If a sperm cell containing damaged DNA fertilises an egg then necessary genetic information may be missing which can lead to poor fertilisation rates, poor embryo development and higher miscarriage occurrence. The good news is, if high levels of DNA Fragmentation are detected this can often be due to underlying causes such as poor diet and lifestyle which, if treated appropriately, can provide successful results.
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