Key elements of the male fertility check-up

At Fertilys, an assessment of sperm DNA integrity is included in the basic seminogram. Using these two complementary analyses, we are able to make a more specific diagnosis and direct you to the most appropriate treatment.

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Sperm DNA

The primary function of the sperm cell is to transport paternal DNA to the egg in order to ensure fertilization. Under normal physiological conditions, the DNA of the sperm cell is compacted, thus protecting the genome during its transit through the genital pathways.

It sometimes happens that the DNA has a compaction defect. This increases the risk of alteration of the genetic material. In fact, the risks of DNA denaturation and fragmentation are higher and may compromise the sperm cell’s fertilization potential. Among infertile men, 25% have an elevated level of DNA damage. Of them, only one in ten has a normal seminogram.

Numerous factors can be to blame:

  • Infection
  • Elevated testicular temperature
  • Diet
  • Drug abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Exposure to toxic substances
  • Advanced age
  • Varicocele (altered blood flow in the testicles and increase in their temperature)

DNA evaluation

The rate of sperm DNA fragmentation is measured in the laboratory by flow cytometry. Breaks in the DNA are first marked by a fluorescent substance which binds specifically to fragmented DNA. The fluorescence emitted is subsequently detected by a laser that allows sperm DNA fragmentation levels to be quantified.