Is sperm DNA fragmentation a useful test that identifies a treatable cause of male infertility?

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Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, ISSN: 1521-6934

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Allan Pacey
Elsevier BV
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The present-day laboratory methods of sperm analysis are a poor predictor of reproductive outcome, and for many years it has been clear that newer and better tests are required. Although many such tests have been proposed, only those which determine sperm DNA quality are still being considered. Of these, several tests of sperm DNA fragmentation are available, although there is presently no consensus about the most appropriate test, the best test specimen (fresh or washed sperm) or what level of fragmentation is of clinical concern. Moreover, although several strategies have been proposed to reduce DNA fragmentation, there is no universal approach and few randomised trials have tested these in a clinical context. As such, most professional bodies do not presently support the use of sperm DNA fragmentation tests, and it is clear that large randomised trials are still required to further evaluate their clinical effectiveness.