What is Sperm DNA Integrity Damage and How It Causes Male Fertility?

Date:2019-09-05 click:0
In recent years, male fertility has attracted more and more attention in society. According to statistics, male factors account for nearly 40% of infertile couples. Among them, the damage of male sperm DNA integrity is an essential factor.

The harm of sperm DNA integrity damage
The integrity of sperm DNA is a prerequisite for the complete transmission of paternal genetic material to offspring. Sperm DNA damage not only directly results in incomplete genetic information transmitted to offspring, but also may affect the formation, division, and embryo development of fertilized eggs, thus causing infertility or habitual abortion. 
Therefore, compared with semen routine parameter analysis, sperm DNA integrity detection is considered to be a more clinical evaluation value and prediction of sperm quality detection indicators.
Causes of Sperm DNA Integrity Damage
Reproductive tract inflammation: Reproductive tract infection can lead to increased white blood cell count in the semen, which can significantly increase reactive oxygen species and other substances in seminal plasma, thereby increasing sperm DNA integrity damage.
Bad habits: Smoking for a long time, drinking too much, staying up late, squatting and sitting for a long time, urinating, fatigue, and other bad habits are easy to damage sperm DNA. The common manifestations are poor sperm morphology, low vitality, and even increase of dead sperm.

Environmental impact: Environmental pollution, heavy metal pollution, chemical industry, high temperature, electronic equipment radiation, thermal radiation, cold and other factors can easily damage sperm head proteins and chromosomes, resulting in sperm DNA changes.
Influences of diseases: Varicocele, orchitis, epididymitis, and patients treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy are prone to damage sperm nuclear DNA strands, which need timely consultation and proper treatment. Herbal medicine Diuretic and Anti-inflammatory Pill and other conservative treatment or drugs can effectively treat infertility caused by reproductive and urinary system diseases such as orchitis and can enhance human immunity and solve the troubles of male patients.
Drug effects: Various hormones, antibiotics, immunosuppressive agents, and other oxidative stress factors, in this state, sperm DNA integrity is vulnerable to be affected, causing breakage, loss, then sperm quality declines.
Age: Studies have shown a significant increase in DNA fragmentation in older sperm, which increases the risk of genetic mutation in offspring.

Population suitable for sperm DNA integrity damage testing 
1. Idiopathic male infertility
2. Wife repeated spontaneous abortion, embryo sterilization
3. Failure of multiple assisted reproductive technology in assisting pregnancy
4. Patients with poor semen quality
Testing results of sperm DNA integrity
According to the results of sperm DNA integrity testing, sperm DNA fragment index (DFI) is generally used to express the results. Currently, it is considered that DFI < 15% is normal, 15% < DFI < 30% is the critical value, if DFI < 30% is abnormal.
Prevention and treatment of sperm DNA integrity damage
First of all, male patients should develop good living habits, strive to quit smoking and drinking, avoid exposure to harmful substances, increase outdoor sports and activities, avoid saunas, hot baths, away from polluting environment and so on.

Secondly, maintain their own dynamic oxygen balance, pay attention to vitamin C, E supplementation in life, eat zinc-rich foods, which can effectively reduce the probability of oxidative stress reaction in the body.
Thirdly, remove the related causes of diseases, such as varicocelectomy, anti-genital tract infection.