Sperm fragmentation threshold for infertility might be far below current cutoff

  • Gill K & al.
  • Int J Environ Res Public Health
  • 5 Jun 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Patients with >18% sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) have a 5-fold increased risk for abnormal standard semen parameters associated with low fertility potential.

Why this matters

  • The cutoff point for high risk for infertility is generally considered to be >30% SDF, say researchers.

Study design

  • Researchers studied ejaculated sperm cells from patients at an academic health center (N=667; median age, 32 years; age range, 19-54 years).
  • Funding: Pomeranian Medical University.

Key results

  • Patients with >18% SDF, when compared with those with ≤18% SDF, had:
    • Lower median sperm concentration (14.60 vs 25.70 million/mL).
    • Lower median total of sperm cells (53.32 vs 75.62 million).
    • Lower median percentage of spermatozoa with normal morphology (1.00% vs 4.00%).
    • Lower median percentage of sperm cells with progressive motility (39.00% vs 61.00%).
    • Lower median percentage of live spermatozoa (70.50% vs 81.00%).
    • Higher median teratozoospermia index score (1.63 vs 1.50).
    • Higher median concentration of peroxidase-positive cells (0.25 vs 0.12 million/mL).

Limitations

  • The study was single center; SDF rates were determined using Sperm Chromatin Dispersion.