DNA – Strand breaks

In approx. 20 % of all couples, no visible abnormalities can be found. The conventional tests (semen analysis, hormonal status, tubal examination) show normal results, yet no pregnancy occurs. In these cases, an idiopathic infertility or "unexplained" sterility is indeed the cause.

Recent research has shown that changes in the hereditary information (DNA) of the sperms can reduce their ability to fertilize the ovum. In very drastic cases, a healthy developing embryo cannot be formed.

The conventional analysis of the semen is the semen analysis. This yields results about the count, the motility, and the form (morphology) of the sperms. Genetic changes cannot be tested with a semen analysis.


What are the possible causes of genetic defects?

Changes in the hereditary information during the sperm cell maturation can be caused by inflammations, medication (pain killers, cortisone, etc.), environmental poisons (pesticides etc.), smoking, aging, irradiation- or chemotherapy, thermal damage etc.

How do genetic defects influence fertility?

Greater the presence of sperm with a genetic disorder, the lesser the probability of spontaneous pregnancy. The sperm cells are not able to fertilize the egg cell on their own, and the congenital disorder rate rises.

Are there tests for DNA damage in sperm cells?

This test is named SCSA (Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay) and gives information about the chromatin defects and thus the quality of the sperm cells. It is performed together with the SpermFertilityCheck.

You can actively help to avoid DNA damage or to improve current irregular results, if you take into account the following:

  • Avoidance of reproductive poisons (cigarette smoke, medicines)
  • Therapy through oral intake of antioxidants (vitamin E, C)
  • Therapy of a possible present infection of the ejaculate
  • Surgical reconstruction of a varicose vein in the testicles


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