Sperm DNA fragmentation : a few rectifications

Being involved in the field of sperm DNA fragmentation analysis; I’ve been reading with great attention the paper published last Friday (January 25th 2013) in « La Presse » entitled: (translated) « Are men less fertile now than before? ». Yet, there were three points discussed in this paper that made me decide to write about sperm DNA fragmentation.

The first point does not directly concern sperm DNA fragmentation but rather their numbers. The author, Sophie Allard, quotes a paper published in The Globe and Mail explaining that laboratories have problems establishing the number of spermatozoa within an ejaculate and that for the very same sample, one lab might state the patient is sub-fertile whereas another lab might state the sample is normal. We know it is true. This is exactly why we have introduced cytometry sperm counts since Nasci’s debut for unchallenged precision. Besides, a precise sperm number evaluation is required to proceed to a sperm DNA fragmentation analysis.

Secondly, the author publishes that the morphology measures are unnecessary. This might be true if we consider the tests as they were made in the past. But the latest recommendations of the WHO are to do a strict morphology evaluation. In addition, quality controls exist to realize this evaluation properly. Strict morphology is, with sperm DNA fragmentation analysis, one of the only tests we can do to help predict in vitro fertilization success and to detect spermatogenesis problems early. Just like with sperm DNA fragmentation analysis, this evaluation requires a rare expertise. Fortunately, unlike most of the laboratories, this evaluation is part of the regular fertility spermogram from Nasci.

Finally and concerning sperm DNA fragmentation itself, the author mentioned that tests to measure sperm DNA fragmentation are not frequently used and not yet well standardized. This affirmation is not exact. Sperm DNA fragmentation analysis is offered at Nasci and is realized with the same strictness as any other analysis conducted in medical laboratories. This includes the use of proper quality controls.

In order to be up to date about the latest technologies available for sperm analysis like sperm DNA fragmentation analysis, follow Nasci’s news by liking us on Facebook here or by following us on Twitter here.

Here are some useful links:
Sperm DNA fragmentation analysis: Blog Page

Fertility spermogram by cytometry: Blog Page
Strict morphology: Blog

Dr Mathieu Boilard, Ph.D.
President, Nasci Biologie Médicale

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Nasci Biologie Médicale Inc. is actively conducting several research projects on human fertility. Because of that, our laboratory is constantly seeking sperm donors in order to continuously improve the analyses offered and to develop new ones for the future. If you are interested in helping future clients and contributing to the success of our business, please contact us by clicking ici