Assessing the Sperm’s Fertilizing Ability

Role of Sperm Functional Tests in Management of Infertility

Sperm is just not the carrier of father’s genetic material. It plays a very crucial role in various events from fertilization till birth of a child. Traditional semen analysis has a limited predictive value about the outcome and there is need for tests which help us with in-depth information about the sperm’s fertilizing ability. Among the various functional tests evolved sperm DNA fragmentation assessment and Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) estimation in semen have been promising in predicting the fertilization potential of sperms.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI)

Sperm’s DNA is located in the nucleus which is situated in the head of the sperm. Fragmentation in sperm’s DNA might affect the process of fertilization, embryonic development, blastocyst formation, and embryo implantation and has also shown to cause early miscarriages, Intra uterine growth restriction and abnormalities in the fetus.

There are various factors which cause fragmentation in DNA. Internal factors like aberrant chromatin packaging during spermatogenesis, defective apoptosis, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, decreased seminal antioxidants and External factors like drugs, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, Varicocele, exposure to heat and chemicals at work place and advanced age might bring about fragmentation in sperm’s DNA.

Following are the various techniques used to assess SPERM DNA FRAGMENTATION INDEX:

  • Sperm Chromatin Structural Assay (by flow cytometry)(SCSA)
  • Sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD)
  • TUNNEL assay
  • Staining Techniques – Acridine orange, Toludine blue, Chromomycin A3, Aniline Blue

Oasis is proud to announce that we are one among the very few clinics in India who are offering SPERM DNA FRAGMENTATION INDEX by SCSA. This technique is the gold standard in assessing DNA fragmentation with a high sensitivity and specificity.

Who requires sperm DFI assessment?

  • Multiple IUI failures who are reluctant for IVF
  • Multiple IVF failure
  • Recurrent abortions
  • Previous history of abnormalities in the babies
  • Poor Embryology parameters like poor fertilization, embryonic development, blastocyst formation
  • Un-explained infertility
  • Male factor Infertility
  • This can also be used by clinicians to select the appropriate ART for management of infertility