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DNA Fragmentation 48% - it's bad but how bad????

(7 Posts)
allchatnicknamesgone Wed 03-Jun-15 17:26:03


Had results from fertility clinic today. DH has sperm dna fragmentation of 48%. We've suffered secondary infertility for 2 years. Had one failed fresh and one failed frozen ivf cycle. I also had a natural mc. No known problems for me. It was unexplained up to this point, but I suppose this is the problem now.

So, there appears to be lots of literature online about this, but I'd love to hear from any wise MNetters who can give me info or advise. I'd love to be able to conceive naturally, but that seems impossible right now.

Hope to hear from anyone soon.

Thank you. x

lucieloos Thu 04-Jun-15 20:09:45

Hi allchat, I don't really know a lot about it but have you tried PICSI which helps to select the most mature sperm and therefore the ones with less DNA frag. We haven't had the frag test but thought we would use it anyway on our last cycle. We weren't successful but we had 100% fertilisation and all were still going on day 3. We have low motility and morphology.

sammylou1 Fri 05-Jun-15 22:33:25

I don't have any answers, but wondered if you could tell me what DNA fragmentation is? Xx

Shellster52 Sat 06-Jun-15 02:18:10

Hi allchat, we've chatted when you used to be on the IVF thread while going through your IVF treatment. What a rough road you've had. And I'm still on the road with you trying to create a sibling for my DS.

I read the title of this thread and just wanted to share one study I read about DNA fragmentation. According to a study that Dr Sandra CABOT referred to in her her book 'Infertility - The Hidden Causes', men who ejaculated daily for 7 days had a whopping 20% less DNA fragmentation than men who abstained. As the sperm sit around, they are susceptible to all the oxidization going on in the body. For my last IVF, I had hubby ejaculate for 5 days consecutively up until 2 days before EC when he had to abstain. I only got 3 mature eggs, but of the 2 that fertilised, they were both top quality on day 3 and I was briefly pregnant. Ironically, I've found sex has gone out the window with infertility, but obviously we need regular sex for good sperm - not just putting in effort at ovulation. So now I'm putting in effort in the lead up to our last IVF.

As lucie also suggest PICSI works around this. It is also known as HA selection. In natural conception, sperm that emit there HA receptors are the only ones that are able to penetrate the egg. Studies have shown that using HA selected sperm have less DNA damage, so it's definitely worth the extra money if you go down the IVF route again.

Out of curiosity, what is the 'normal' level for DNA damage? My husband has morphology issues with 0% normal. The results say that only 4% have to be normal for it to be in the normal range, so 52% normal for your hubby still sounds like a lot of normal sperm.

Lymmmummy Tue 09-Jun-15 13:02:03

Hi - I think that above 15 or 20% is high enough to significantly affect success so this level of over 40 would potentially be a worry - wasn't sure about the report quoted by Shelister -

But it's fair to say medical opinions do vary - the fragmentation relates to the DNA structure of the sperm - again I would repeat opinions do vary on the significance of fragmentation results - the most common reliable test for fragmentation is the HALO test

Lots of infertility is an unknown so I think there are few definite yes and no answers some men with High fragmentation could create a pregnancy others could not I suppose it's taken as an indicator of the health of the sperm and a potential issue to address to improve chance of pregnancy

Lymmmummy Tue 09-Jun-15 13:05:40

Sorry meant to say wasn't aware of the report quoted by Shelister not that I wasn't sure which implies I think the research is lies - which I don't - very complicated area - with lots for different opinions

lucieloos Sun 14-Jun-15 17:28:11

I have just had a hidden infections test done by post at serum in Greece. It's come back positive for a couple of things which means it will also be positive for DH. We have to take a 25 day course of antibiotics but they normally find that it improves sperm DNA frag quite a lot so could be worth a try. PM me if you want more details x

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