Fragmentation of sperm DNA


2018-03-17 16:45:45




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Statistics show that in several countries the prevalence of infertility is 8-29% and the world – 15%. While each of the eighth pair fails to conceive first child. One of every six couple has difficulty with the birth of second and subsequent children. In half of the cases this is due to problems the stronger sex, that is, with changed parameters of the male seed, which still bears the name "DNA fragmentation". Over the last two decades this trend is increasing: from 30% to 50%.

If you need to do proper analysis you need to determine the degree of DNA fragmentation. But not every man familiar with the term, and he may have a lot of questions. Therefore it is necessary to decode it in more detail.

What does the term "DNA fragmentation"?

This definition refers to the degree of damage to the DNA chain, which is an indicator of the quality of gametes and talking about the level of the male fertility. Breaks of the DNA helix lead to the fact that the integrity of the genetic information is disrupted. As a result, the probability of a birth of the child is significantly reduced.

DNA Fragmentation

Often DNA fragmentation happens because of reducing the protamines. These are special transport proteins that are contained in the chromosomes. They serve a protective function-to prevent damage to the DNA chain under the influence of external factors.

The Presence of DNA fragmentation in germ cells has a direct effect on the maturation of the embryo in the early period and blastocyst formation. Tellingly, even spermatozoa with high fragmentation are able to fertilize the female sex cells, but later in the early stages of embryo development, the process can stop.


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Causes pathology

Violation of the genetic information in sperm can be caused by different factors which are both internal and external. Male infertility can occur due to multiple disorders of different body systems, such as:

  • Sex;
  • Endocrine;
  • Nerve;
  • Blood;
  • Etc.

The Main task of the male sex cell is the egg delivery, healthy material without any damage. Only in this case, after the last fertilization, the embryo will be a full and normal development. Otherwise, there may be different disease. What happens DNA fragmentation?

Internal reason

The internal factors are two reasons. The first is the defective development of the seminal fluid. Maturation of male germ cells occurs in the epididymis. At this time activated chromatin located in the cell nucleus. It is responsible for sperm motility. In some cases the procedure can go wrong, and then the DNA is damaged.

The Second internal factor is the incorrect rejection of germ cells. The birth of the sperm occurs in the testes. The peculiarity of the male body is the ability to determine the status of the germ cells. If sperm are observed some variations in genetic terms or the differences in their structure, the body itself gets rid of them. But sometimes the process of rejection occurs correctly. In this case, the ejaculate will contain both healthy cells and damaged.

External causes

In Addition to internal reasons, DNA fragmentation of the cells can occur due to a number of external factors. These can be attributed the presence of certain diseases that occur in the acute or chronic form. The destruction of the germ cells may be caused by inflammation of the genitourinary system. This is particularly evident in cases where a disease was not fully cured.

Often the cause and this is common among men disease varicocele. The pathology is usually easily detected by varicose veins in the testicles. But the more accurate the diagnosis will establish an appropriate survey. But other than that, the reasons can be:

  • High temperature for a long enough period of time, in the absence of obvious signs and symptoms;
  • The presence of oxidative stress;
  • The radiation of x-rays;
  • Chemotherapy;
  • Habits.

As to the last point, the sperm DNA fragmentation happens because of Smoking.

DNA fragmentation of sperm

Currently, there are many ways of dealing with this harmful habit. And if you have the desire to raise children, we should completely abandon it. And the sooner the better!

Standard diagnostics – semen

For the birth of a healthy child need a good hereditary material. And to determine the status of male germ cells, is the standard semen analysis. The result of this investigation shows probable cause of a violation of fertilization. Semen analysis also allows to determine the structure, concentration, degree of mobility of male germ cells, and simultaneously to check that they meet the physiological norm. Also the task of the analysis is to determine the acidity of the semen.

In addition, this study allows to determine the number of white blood cells, which in norm should not be more than one million per milliliter of semen. An important parameter is the color and smell. Healthy seminal fluid has a white, cream or slightly pink tint, and the smell is reminiscent of chestnut. If there are any deviations require a more thorough examination, the decision is made by the attending physician on the basis of the results obtained.

DNA Fragmentation methods

However, experts believe that standard analysis is unable to determine whether DNA fragmentation. Survey methods simply do not allow this, since semen is mainly determined by only the physical parameters of the seminal fluid. Therefore, the diagnosis of DNA chain in this way is impossible to produce, and experts recommend using another common technique called TUNEL.

The technique TUNEL

Many experts recommend exploring a DNA chain this method. The study allows to determine the number ( % ) of damaged germ cells. Based on the results, you can choose the desired methods of treatment in order to increase men's ability to conceive.

After passing the ejaculate through addition of special reagents, and further research is using the microscope. The number of healthy and damaged spermatozoa can clearly be seen. Experienced specialist quickly and accurately identify changes in the DNA. Fragmentation of the sperm in this case is that the damaged germ cells differ significantly in appearance.

The Result of the study shall be issued only by a qualified technician to the patient in the form of pictures with the image cells. An important parameter of a test is the percentage of healthy cells to fragmented. Normally, the number of damaged cells does not exceed 15%.

Analysis of DNA fragmentation of spermTesting requires a number of rules. For seven days did not take a hot bath and to exclude the bath. During this period you should refrain from sexual intercourse and avoid drinking alcohol. Semen collection takes place directly at the day of the procedure in a special plastic container. This can be done both at home and in a medical facility.

When to start to worry?

Many men not only don't know what DNA fragmentation, the rate of this index to them is also unknown. As, however, and then, when you want to pass the examination. For this reason, and the rise of infertility and the onset of various diseases. In this regard, it should result in cases when it is good to think:

  • Family over a long period of time can not conceive.
  • In the past there were several attempts at artificial insemination.
  • The Unsatisfactory condition of the embryo.
  • Beloved second half, there are frequent cases of abortions, but it is clearly not in it.
  • Age men 45 years or more.
  • The Presence of varicose veins of the spermatic cord.
  • For Three months or more in men, there is high temperature.

In the first case, it is often when women are examined, which reveals that they are completely healthy, but pregnancy does not occur. In this case, examined needs and men.

Analysis of DNA fragmentation

Screening for fragmentation of germ cells appoints a personal attending physician and only under certain circumstances.

Where can I take the test?

It is Now known that this DNA fragmentation, "where to donate" – the next question that may arise. At present, virtually any laboratory with advanced equipment has been researching the male seed. To be tested can be in almost any public hospital for free. Just wait for the result may take several days. Turning to one of the private laboratories the result will be available within one day.

It is Worth remembering that each study has a different result. So for reliability it is better made...

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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