Is a semen analysis the same as DNA fragmentation testing?

Did you know that almost a third of fertility problems are related to male factor? Did you also know that anywhere between 30-50 percent of male infertility cases are due to sperm defects?

As the examination of the male is relatively non-invasive, this will often be the first test performed when investigating the cause of infertility.

At Fertility First, our andrologists assess male fertility through a semen analysis to measure the key parameters of semen known to impact fertility. Our scientists will also perform DNA fragmentation testing, which is designed to assess the genetic integrity of your sperm.

A basic semen analysis consists of analysing the number of sperm you have as well as the motility and the morphology. It is a test all fertility clinics offer their male patients who are looking at undergoing fertility treatment.

A DNA fragmentation test is an assay performed through a technique known as HALO, which examines the DNA inside the sperm’s chromosomes and helps to provide clinical diagnosis and the management of male infertility.

Assessing DNA damage in your sperm is important when wanting to start a family. Research has previously shown that high levels of DNA fragmentation can have adverse effects in fertilisation, embryo quality, pregnancy rates and increase the likelihood of miscarriages four-fold.

Fertility First has recognised the importance of sperm health and genetic integrity when it comes to fertility and healthy pregnancies and have been performing tests to analyse sperm DNA damage in patients for over 15 years.

So, what happens if you receive an abnormal result?

What happens if you have abnormal sperm?

An abnormal test result does not mean that you cannot have children. This simply will assist our team to determine the best form of fertility treatment for you. DNA fragmentation is often linked to external factors and lifestyle:

  • Smoking
  • Recreational drug use
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Long periods between ejaculation
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Advanced age
  • Environmental pollutants (air pollution, exposure to chemicals, certain work environments/occupations such as spray painting)

Our studies have shown that in more than 75 percent of patients who return a high DNA fragmentation result, those who make changes to their lifestyle and take the recommended dietary supplements suggested by their fertility specialist will see an improvement in their sperm quality within 2 months.

For more information or to make an appointment contact the clinic for more details on (02) 9586 3311.