What is Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test? Surrogacy with High Sperm Fragmentation?

Sperm DNA Fragmentation
What is Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test?
What causes Sperm DNA Fragmentation?
Chances of getting pregnant with High DNA Fragmentation?
What to do if you have Sperm DNA Fragmentation?

Sperm DNA Fragmentation

Sperm DNA Fragmentation is a genetic defect in the sperm. As we all know sperm carries DNA information and this genetic information is important for the overall development of an embryo, but if this DNA information is missing, damaged, or divided, then it can cause fertility concerns in males. This term is called Sperm DNA Fragmentation. There are various tests to evaluate the intensity of damage to one’s DNA, these tests include (in-vitro fertilization) IVF, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI).

What is Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test?

Sperm Fragmentation refers to the condition where the DNA in a sperm cell is broken or damaged, the DNA strands are missing, broken, or fragmented which causes infertility issues, miscarriage, reduced fertility, damaged or low-quality embryos, and various other defects. Sperm DNA fragmentation can occur due to factors such as oxidative stress, environmental toxins, underlying health issues, genetic defects, and infections.

To find out the damage in DNA, tests such as Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA), Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling (TUNEL), Assay, or Comet Assay can help evaluate the DNA strands and integrity within the sperm cell.

These tests help doctors and couples understand the total damage and the medical assistance needed to reduce the damage. Sperm DNA Fragmentation cannot be fully cured but its damage can be reduced. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, regular workouts and exercising, avoiding alcohol and tobacco consumption, staying in a natural environment away from pollution, meditation, and following other healthy habits can improve sperm DNA integrity.

Multivitamins such as vitamin C&E, antioxidants, minerals, and other healthy elements can decrease Sperm DNA Fragmentation. Medical treatment can reduce infections, genetic disorders, and hormonal abnormalities and can prevent increasing DNA fragmentation.

Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) can be chosen as the last option if the above treatments are ineffective. ART will not cure the fermentation but it can be used to inject a single cell directly into the egg to fertilize the embryo. Techniques such as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) can be used to perform the treatment.

The chances of getting pregnant with high DNA fragmentation are meager. DNA fragmentation refers to the damage to the DNA and the higher the fragmentation, the higher the damage and the lower the fertility success rate. High DNA fragmentation can increase the difficulties for fertility success rate even through assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF (in-vitro fertility) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
Find out about surrogacy procedure using sperm and egg donor: Using both donor egg and sperm in my surrogacy procedure?

What causes Sperm DNA Fragmentation?

The reasons behind Sperm DNA Fragmentation are the harmful radiations from Laptops, smartphones, and other electronic devices, environmental factors such as pollution, seasonal variations, psychological factors such as stress, emotional fluctuations, living in unpleasant or harsh surroundings, consuming excessive alcohol, smoke, tobacco, drug intake, lack of nutrition, taking regular steam-bath (sauna), jacuzzi, cyclings, overheated seat in vehicles, tight pants and underwear, infections, medical reaction, chemical exposure, obesity, diabetes increased age, genetic inability, and diseases.

Chances of getting pregnant with High DNA Fragmentation

High DNA fragmentation can cause drastic damage to the sperm cell and can lead to infertility. If you ask, can sperm with DNA fragmentation fertilize an egg? The answer is yes! A sperm with DNA fragmentation can fertilize an egg and can have a successful conception. Still, if the intensity of the DNA fragmentation is high it can lead to abnormalities or defects in the embryo formed. Even if you get pregnant still you will lose your pregnancy within the first trimester. A High DNA Fragmentation always carries a risk of genetic abnormalities in the embryo. There are risks involved such as miscarriage and infertility if you are conceiving a child(ren) with your partner with High DNA Fragmentation.
Worried about your PCOS read for more information How to get pregnant with irregular periods and PCOS?

What to do if you have Sperm DNA Fragmentation?

Consult a fertility specialist: The first step involves consulting a reproductive or fertility specialist. A fertility specialist will conduct the tests to assess the Sperm DNA Fragmentation level, its intensity, and the damage caused and will provide you the personalized guidance on your situation.

Identifying the cause: With the help of a Sperm DNA Fragmentation test, the fertility expert will identify the reason behind the fragmentation, the reasons could be the amalgamation of the following; smoking, alcohol, tobacco, poor diet, toxins, pollutants, infections, genetic disorder, radiations, and other causes and based on the evaluation, the specialist will outline a suitable treatment or guidance.

Lifestyle modification: It becomes necessary to modify, and change your lifestyle and habits. You can quit smoking, and alcohol, maintain a healthy diet, do exercise and yoga, and by consuming antioxidants and other nutrients and health supplements.

Medical Treatment: Medical treatments are required to remove infection and stabilize the hormonal changes. DNA correction through surgical treatment can also be performed to overcome anatomical abnormalities, such as varicoceles, which can impair sperm production and quality.

Assisted Reproduction Techniques: Assisted reproductive techniques (ART) can be carried out to fertilize the egg with the sperm. IVF (in-vitro fertility) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) can be considered for the treatment.

Support: Sperm DNA Fragmentation can be stressful, taking more stress can have an even worse effect on the sperm and DNA and increase the fragmentation. Hence, counseling, support groups, supportive friends, and families can help you to overcome the stress.


Sperm DNA Fragmentation is a comprehensive approach and requires proper attention and timely treatment, taking it lightly can increase the risk of infertility and damage the genetic information in DNA. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having a proper diet can reduce fragmentation and increase sperm quality. Taking stress can lead to more severe fertility concerns, so try to be in a holistic and stress-free environment. Supplements such as vitamins C and E, zinc, and other minerals can boost progress.

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