A sperm DNA test looks at the most important part of your sperm, the DNA. Your sperm DNA contains the instructions that will make your baby. It determines everything about your baby. Sperm DNA can be damaged during sperm production and storage, causing the DNA molecules to break into smaller fragments. This is known as DNA fragmentation. Sperm DNA fragmentation can affect your ability to get your partner pregnant and have a healthy baby.
Some doctors will suggest a semen analysis as the only test for male fertility. Semen analysis measures the number of sperm in an ejaculate (sperm count), what they look like (morphology) and how quickly they swim (motility). This is important information to start with, but it doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the DNA you will pass on to your child. You need both tests to get the full picture of your sperm health.
Why get tested.
Badly damaged sperm DNA may be associated with taking a long time to get pregnant or having a miscarriage. High amounts of sperm DNA fragmentation also reduce the success of fertility treatments like IVF or ICSI. The good news is that men make new batches of sperm every three months and lifestyle changes and treating the cause, such as a varicocele (enlarged veins), can often help you improve the quality of your sperm’s DNA.
We use the SpermComet® test to assess DNA quality. It is important that this test is done through a male fertility expert so the results and any further treatment can be fully explained to you.