One of the main causes of infertility in couples – up to 50% of all cases – is male infertility. Male infertility is not related to the man’s health, since some perfectly healthy men produce poor quality sperm, making conception impossible.
This means that a semen and sperm analysis is essential to detect or rule out male infertility. A semen analysis or seminogram measures the concentration, motility and morphology of spermatozoids in ejaculated sperm.
However, although these are important test parameters, there are other factors not revealed by a conventional test that can provide patients with a more specific diagnosis for a more suitable treatment.
Because of this, IVF-Spain offers advanced seminograms include the following:
Sperm nuclei DNA fragmentation has a detrimental effect on reproductive results. A sperm DNA fragmentation test uses flow cytometry to measure sperm chromatin stability and an estimate of the proportion of spermatozoa with fragmented DNA.
Any couple undergoing assisted reproduction treatment can have a sperm DNA fragmentation test. The test is particularly recommended for men over the age of 40, exposed to toxic agents, who have had urinary-genital infections or been treated for cancer.
A sperm DNA fragmentation test can help couples who have had miscarriages or recurring failed cycles or idiopathic infertility.
Apoptosis or selective cell necrosis has a significant role in spermatogenesis, eliminating sperm cells with structural and functional defects. An abnormally high level of apoptotic spermatozoa in ejaculate decreases male fertility.
The Annexin V-FITC Apoptosis Detection Test counts the number of apoptotic spermatozoa in ejaculate and/or in sperm samples prepared for assisted reproduction. The test uses Annexin V protein to mark apoptotic cells which are then quantified using flow cytometry. The quality of abnormally high levels of apoptosis by targeting spermatozoids for elimination using Annexin V-MACS columns.
Microdeletions in the AZF factor region of chromosome Y are responsible for 10-15% of azoospermia and 5-10% of oligozoospermia in men. The Y chromosome microdeletion test performed at IVF-Spain uses PCR to analyse four regions of the Y chromosome – AZFa, AZFb, AZFc y AZFd – to identify potential causes of male infertility.
Semen produced by patients with severe male infertility and defective spermatogenesis may contain immature germ cells.
IVF-Spain’s Ploidy Analysis measures defects in spermatogenesis by identifying ploidy in sperm cells present in ejaculate. In this test, the cells in a semen sample are measured using flow cytometry, distinguishing between tetraploid spermatocytes, diploid spermatogonia, round haploid spermatids and spermatozoids.
It’s a simple, non-invasive, reliable test that helps to diagnose severe male infertility prior to testicular surgery.
Spermatozoids produce small numbers of oxygen-derived free radicals (ROS) which are crucial to normal functioning. The numbers of these ROS are controlled by antioxidants in seminal plasma.
However, In case of an ROS imbalance in semen, ROS levels rise, damaging sperm and reducing its fertilising capacity.
At IVF-Spain we test for Oxidative Stress using 2′, 7′ -Dichlorodihydrofluorescein Diacetate (H2DCFDA) to quantify ROS in a semen sample. It may be possible to normalise ROS levels with lifestyle changes and an antioxidant-rich diet.