Sperm DNA fragmentation results

So hubby & I just got his sperm DNA fragmentation tests & well it's not good πŸ˜” his count was 11.1mil which is low his motility was only 1% which is awful & his fragmentation was 52% which is a catastrophe....

Options 1)

Go in & take sperm from the testes directly before it spends 3months on its travels to try & get it before it gets damaged. No guarantee that it still wouldn't be fragmented

Option 2)

Using donor sperm after I have a hsg, possibly a hysteroscopy (however that's spelt) to check I have free tubes etc

Option 3)


All 3 have pros & cons - hubby has ruled out option 1 as he doesn't want to spend the money. Option 2 he wants to try buying & doing it at home & he's going to start the option 3 process.

Wish I knew about DNA fragmentation before cycle 1 or at least been told about the impact it has before rounds 2&3!

Incase you're curious the sperm is responsible for implantation & obviously provided half the DNA so 30% is considered high damage... 52% is well pretty much fat chance!

Finding it hard as hubby is now in a very bad mood as thinks we wasted money but you cant live your life on what ifs & maybes x

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  • Oooo not a position you wanted to be in, your hubby Probs just feeling abit gutted (male pride) I think you should give yourselves a little time for it all to sink in before you make any decisions. Are these private tests on top of the normal sperm tests clinics do? X

  • Hi button, yes it was in addition to what is normally done as we've had embryos that failed at day 2/3 which is when the sperm take over, a miscarriage & blastocysts that didn't implant. The consultant couldn't say for definite but he believed it could have been due to sperm DNA & well the test has proved him right.

    Too often women get the blame for poor development or no implantation but from what we've been told implantation is the part the sperm is responsible for πŸ™

  • Hi Poochi

    Can I ask you is this what your consultant has told you? I am asking as we had SSR in March (my husband had a vasectomy 19 years ago with his first wife) and we managed to get sperm but at no point did they mention any of the above. Having just had a failed cycle (fresh, 5 day blast) if the sperm is responsible for the implantation then when they told me that it is just a numbers game and that it might be my eggs (only 5 retrieved, 3 viable and all 3 fertilised) could they be wrong?

    I have spent quite a bit of time researching option 3 of late and had several long calls with various agencies local to me - any questions that you have just PM me

    Also have mentioned option 2 to DH but think that is probably a no go (for now anyway)

    Holly x

  • Hi Holly yes it's what the consultant has told us. He said getting the sperm from the testes got it at its freshest as most damage is done between being made & when it's ready to be ejaculated (3months later).

    He told me that the egg has the energy for fertilisation & the early cell decision but it's at day 3 that the sperm has to start it's job & part of that is implantation.

    I'm not sure how they know this but he seems very certain & tbh he has lost money as now we won't do the expensive treatment so I can't see why he'd be making it up πŸ€” I wish he were wrong though x

  • Hi Poochi

    This is interesting - we are next at the hospital next Thursday so I will be bringing this up - they were so quick to blame me - my age (36), my eggs and the fact that I am not getting any younger, the sperm quality was never discussed.

    But if 52% of the sperm is bad, then 48% of it is good so surely it is a numbers game?

    Holly x

  • I'm 36 as well & they have been honest & said they can't test the quality of my eggs but they seem to be ok. A ready of 30% is considered high & we're way over that. Also he only has 1% motility so out of his 11mil sperm only 110,000 swim & only 53,000 will have normal DNA... so it is just an odds game really & we don't have the cash to play it :( x

  • Hi Poochi

    I know what you mean re the cash to play it - we have only had one one fresh cycle and now doing our one and only FET and god forbid that does not work then its going to be credit cards for another fresh cycle.

    We paid to have the surgical sperm retrieval done as there is no other way for us to have sperm so I am not sure if they can test it when it is frozen (we had 12 vials and after our first cycle ICSI we are now down to 11)

    As they have retrieved the sperm from his testicles anyway we just have to work with what we have.

    Like you, if this does not work we are then onto having a donor conversation which I am not really looking forward to having.

    I think with my first cycle they were very cautious with the drug side of things as they checked my FSH and other bits and we all just assumed that getting sperm was the most important thing and they just assumed that I was ok. However, with no implantation with a 5 day blast and only 3 eggs when they kept me on a relatively low dose of Gonal F and long protocol we have discussed a short protocol and upping the drugs for perhaps a better response as the words 'low ovarian reserve' were used more than once......

    Its so hard, we are in their hands but it is our money and time and bodies...

    Good luck xx

  • Good luck to you xx

  • I am only asking as we have had similar and they always blame my eggs as low quality but already know hubby's sperm isn't that great, defo makes you wonder. How much was this test if you don't mind me asking X

  • It makes me quite mad if I'm honest that the NHS don't do this as standard when there is a poor sperm test & instead would rather juat put the woman through it all :(

    It cost Β£227, it included a sperm test & I had it done as a private patient with the NHS so it might be worth asking your consultant if it's an option x

  • Can see why it makes you mad. We have an appointment next week at our new clinic so will defo be mentioning this, thanks so much X

  • Would icsi not work? X

  • Hi MrsTm, no we've done ICSI & even PICSI. The issue with icsi is you force fertilisation which in itself is ok but with over 52% bad DNA it's a gamble not in our favour that bad sperm is used. The look of the sperm might be ok but they can't know the DNA without testing it & once they've tested it they can't use it for fertilisation x

  • I don't think we had DNA fragmentation done. My hubby has got problems with very low numbers, odd shapes and poor swimmers but retrieval from testes was never mentioned at eithe clinic. I think it depends on the consultant. I think our consultants suspected implantation problems with me and my age of course got mentioned (pile more guilt on) but they never mentioned the importance of the sperm in the process and we had 3 rounds including use of DE. Have a look at The Donor Conception website, it answered a lot of my questions/fears.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Aww babes what a nightmare...

    Us ladies on here have learnt the unpredictable dictations of life through our journey how quickly things can change your life in one single element and in a single minute.

    We will never be prepared because we will never be fully equipped with everything we need to know as there is always something from 1 cycle to the next.

    Whatever route you take and whatever if or maybe you decide I hope that you get your dream.

    Wishing you luck 😘

  • Thanks tamtam, hope things start to go right for you as well. Good luck xx

  • Thank you Poochi for sharing this with us!! This is really useful to know and I'm definately going to look into getting this test done for us. We've been diagnosed with 'unexplained' intertility which as a diagnosis drives me nuts - it's only based on a few very basic tests and then you're thown into the IVF storm, which is a horrible ordeal (esp for the woman) to go through with no guarantee of success. I don't understand why NHS would rather pay for IVF at Β£6k a pop rather than carry out more tests at Β£300 which may tell you where the problem lies and therefore target the treatment. Sorry about the rant!!! Wishing you the very best of luck with whatever option you decide to go with! X

  • Thanks medeine, 'unexplained' must be extremely frustrating as everymonth you'll have that hope, I still have it & I know it's not going to happen! Wishing you lots of luck xx

  • Hi Poochi, sorry to hear your news. My husband was a bit grumpy after his inital sperm test results (low motility and less than a million though motility has improved dramatically since cutting out alcohol completely) but it was just guilt that made him like that. After our recent failure I know how this feels. Our 3 embryos were slow developers and arrested at day 3. When we spoke to the embryologist last week, he pretty much said that ICSI took out the male factor as the sperm had already done its bit and the development failure was more than likely due to my age, (38) and egg quality would more than likely be the reason so then I felt gulity! He suggested perhaps we should consider donor egg if the same thing happens next time as this would confirm it was my eggs so this is really interesting. Ive got a review next week so will ask about this too. Thanks for posting, another question on my list....the consultant is going to think Im a nightmare!x

  • It is frustrating as no1 gives us all the same information, but I've now had 2 doctors tell me failure has been due to the sperm & one even said it was the sperm that likely caused our miscarriage :( if you can get my husband to stop drinking I will name our first child Cinderella even if it's a boy! He did stop for 3months for our first treatment that ended with a BFP so I can't understand why he hasn't done the same the future, enjoy I really hope you get the answers & your next try is successful xx

  • Was meant to say anyway not 'enjoy' small keyboard/ fat fingers!

  • Ha ha ha cinderella for a girl or boy is a big ask! :D Believe me its not easy getting my hubby to stop either and he only stopped for around 7 weeks. Hoping that this time it will be longer as we got the proof that it did help, or something did and we didnt change anything else....the motility went from 10% to 80% which is a big jump. Our numbers are unlikely to ever improve due to a childhood injury. However getting him to stop again will be another story as he's now had a few and the warm weather makes him dream of a cold beer though I know how he feels, a cold drink in a beer garden is lush! Ha ha ha It really does make ti diffcult to consider what decision is next but then I guess if the Dr's knew everything this malarkey wouldnt be so hard! Good luck to you too!xx

  • Your hubby could try Menevit for 3 months plus no drinking, healthy eating & moderate exercise. That's what we were advised by our clinic for the DNA fragmentation. We bought Menevit online through Amazon but there are other places online that sell it. Just a warning, the pills smell & taste a bit horrid!! 😊

  • Hi star, I had him on menevit for our first try of ICSI & his results were worse than before he was on them & he stopped drinking for those 3months as well, might just have been a coincidence though. What he's on at the moment has I think everything that menevit has in it plus a few extra things so in theory should be better... count wise it is but no idea how it's effecting everything else x

  • Oh that's interesting, my hubby had exactly the same outcome with the Menevit, reduced volume, motility, count, etc. We thought it was because he was training so hard during the 3 months & that had affected the quality. Our clinic advised a few other anti-oxidants, maybe we should try a different one.

    We're still using the Menevit as we had a failed cycle but he's gone back to living a more normal life now to see if less exercise helps. We're still living in hope it might happen naturally while we save for our next private cycle. Unfortunately I'm a poor responder so they think my eggs might also be poorer quality so a bit of both with us.

    I really hope things improve for you guys & you get the result you are hoping for very soon xxxx

  • Oh that is interesting... I might try to get hold of my hubby very first test so I can compare the results. Currently he's on fertilsanM by a German company called amitamin. Tbh his best results were when he was on a general male mulitvitamin but he also wasn't drinking as much then either... who knows. Good luck to you both xx

  • I know how you feel mediene! We fell into the "unexplained" category. 4 years 11 months later (a lot of gynae issues resulting in re referral to an Nhs clinic next month happy days ) finally I think I know what is our real reason. I have high nk cells. That impacts on fertility in a negative way.Best Β£300 I spent!Good news is it is easily corrected using steroids. Why they the NHS do not advise you to have further tests done (privately you wouldn't be grudge paying if it meant you could get to the bottom of it). And a lot of these couples may not need IVF,like you said. What I do not understand is if they do not know the reason for the infertility how can they possibly treat it? We did not meet the criteria for NHS Funded IVF and I am glad coz with my high nk it would have failed. Then I think we would have given up on having a baby. Just to say a lot of unexplained is due to a women having higher than normal nk cells.For Β£300 i'd definitely rule that one out. I have learnt much more about infertility coming on here than attending fertility clinics... I'll stop ranting now! Good luck sweetie hope you get to the bottom of it x x x

  • Thanks Jess, I'm glad to read you've finally got an answer. I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything now goes to plan naturally for you. Best of luck xx

  • Thanks poochi.Good luck to you too :-) x

  • hi - sorry to hear this. my other half has his fragmentation test today. I am with the ARGC now (top clinic in London). they have said that if there is a problem they will give him a high anti oxidant tablet every day - have they not said that would help. I have him on a high anti oxidant diet now so kale, blueberries etc ???

  • Hi I looked at ARGC & I will admit it would be my clinic of choice if I could. My hubby has been on high antioxidants for about 4months before the test. The consultant said that if they haven't worked by now they won't, I've also just read that too much vit e & vit c can cause high fragmentation so now I'm wondering if it is my fault! I've had a lady message about a 4 week course of antibiotics helping so it might be worth discussing that also, it's my next mission now even if it's just so we can try 1 month naturally as hubby is finished with ICSI treatments :( good luck to you xx

  • Our consultant prescribed us both high level Vit c & e and folic acid to try to improve DNA quality. There seems to be so much conflicting advice!

  • Cryos international sperm bank in Denmark, ships Soren to your door with a syringe included... But the postman expression is priceless as it says "live tissues or cells DO NOT XRay" on the box! πŸ˜‚

  • OMG that's so funny! That is the bank we've chosen as well. The postman knows us that will be an interesting conversation πŸ˜‚ I was wondering if it came with a syringe. Thank you! Xx

  • Mine just held the box as far away from himself as he could and kept saying "take it, take it, take it!" πŸ˜‚

  • Hello, don't know if you know my story. We were ttc for 5 years.after two years started with assisted fertility. My husbands morphology came back under 3 million with under 40,000 motility πŸ˜– Second test after 2 years was worse, only 1.5 million We were told his sperm was no good, and we looked down the adoption sperm donor route: quiet honestly, I think dh would have struggled to have loved a baby from donor speem. He said this, I understand. The stress of ttc almost finished off our marriage .Then we looked into the adoption route, which suited us better as it wasn't 'half of anyone's' then by some miracle and I mean a miracle, we found out we were pregnant. πŸ™πŸ‘ we've just passed the 17 week mark. at the time of the fertility testing and his sperm analysis, it was found his hormone side was all normal and physically sound. He just had an an extremely low count.

    You never know what's round the corner Hun. Don't give up πŸ˜ŠπŸ™xxxx

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