Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Abnormal sperm are not a cause of miscarriages or IVF failure

Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...
Sperm DNA fragmentation index does not correlate with the sperm or embryo aneuploidy rate in recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure patients

This article is now available free online and is worth reading.

Lots of IVF labs now do sperm DNA fragmentation testing; and when the IVF cycle fails, they
" blame " the sperm for the implantation failure. This makes sense  to the patient - after all, doesn't the sperm contribute 50% of the genes to the embryo ? And if the sperm's DNA is abnormal, then doesn't it logically follow that the embryo created by these sperm is also likely to have abnormal DNA , which means it's more likely to result in implantation failure ?

This paper shows that this reasoning is flawed - and that there is no correlation between abnormal DNA in the sperm and IVF failure.

Here's the abstract - and you can read the full text as well. Please share this with your doctor !

BACKGROUND The aneuploidy rate is higher in poor-quality sperm samples, which also have higher DNA fragmentation index values. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between sperm DNA fragmentation in samples from infertile men belonging to couples with recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure and the aneuploidy rate in spermatozoa as well as in embryos from patients.
METHODS This prospective study evaluated DNA damage and the aneuploidy rate in fresh and processed (density gradient centrifugation) ejaculated sperm as well as the aneuploidy rate in biopsied embryos from fertility cycles. 
RESULTS A total of 154 embryos were evaluated from 38 patients undergoing PGD cycles; 35.2% of the embryos were chromosomally normal. Analysis of the same sperm samples showed an increased DNA fragmentation after sperm preparation in 76% of the patients. There was no correlation between DNA fragmentation and the aneuploidy rate in embryos or in fresh or processed sperm samples.
CONCLUSIONS Sperm DNA fragmentation is not related to chromosomal anomalies in embryos from patients with recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure.

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