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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

Please can anyone help?

My DP has just had a really bad DNA fragmentation test result,  although the consultant said that the stainability was within the normal range.  We have been advised to go ahead with an ICSI cycle but we would like to wait and see if we can make some improvement.

Can anyone out there let me know what experiences they have had with improving DNA fragmentation rates.

What lifestyle factors helped and how much of difference did it make to the before and after percentage.

J
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Dear Jaymac

I saw your thread and wanted to reply as my DH has also been diagnosed with DNA Fragmentation in his sperm. We are currently undergoing treatment in Spain with donor eggs as I suffer from Premature Ovarian failure. At our clinic in Spain they have advsised that we shoudl go ahead with a procedure called TESA where the sperm will be retrieved direct from the testicle. The reason for doing this is that allegedly there is less fragmentation in sperm in the testes before they go through to ejaculate. This is a very new technique however and there isnt much evidence out there as to whether it works. Our clinic says they have had success with it though so we are trying it although I am trying not to get too excited.

In addition to the TESA technique which I don't think is widely used in the UK you could also try high dose vitamins particularly antioxidants like Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc. There are severla people on the site who have tried this and managed to decrease fragmentation.

Lifestyle can also play a part and your DH shoudl be discouraged from taking very hot baths, wearing tight underwear and cycling all of which can heat up the testes and apparently could have an effect.

Lastly the andrologist we went to see in London examined my DH and discovered he had a varicole (a small raised vein on his testicle) again there is no concrete scientific evidence but some research does suggest that this can cause DNA fragmentation in sperm. The varicole can be removed through a small operation and we will be doign this if we fail on the next attempt at transfer using TESE. It may be worth having your DH examined incase he has this condition.

Unfortunately what you will find is that DNA Fragmentation is a very grey area. This is partly because it is only recently that doctors have established that there is a link between infertility and high DNA fragmentation and many clinics are still sceptical. Because of this its an area that is still being researched and noone seems to have a clear view of what can be done to improve it or the extent of the effect on success.

What were your DH's results? It appears that some clinics believe anything above 20% is pathological and some believe anything over 30% is pathological so it does depend where you tested, what test you had and what your clinic believes.

Good luck with everything and try to stay positive. There are success stories on here of people who have been diagnosed with DNA fragmentation and still gone on to concieve.

Moppit x
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Moppit

Thanks for that, you have had a fair old time of it from reading your profile, I hope all goes well for this cycle. 

It was looking at the thresholds that got me worried as his result was 85%.  Our clinic said that anything under 45% was ok especially for ICSI, but even so it looks like we are in the no-chance-what-so-ever category if they had one.  The cons said that he had a successful twin pregnency with a DFI of 50%, but its just not reassuring when ours was so much worse. DP has been told to ejaculate more, and I found a report to say that this does improve things as sperm can fragment the more they are hanging around.  I just wonder if all the diet and lifestyle changes can make dramatic improvements because we need something bordering on the miraculous.  We both feel that it would be worth testing again because it was so unusually high, if we get another bad result then as you say it may be worth having him checked for varicoles. 

J
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Not sure if you've read this already but it's a very very interesting discussion of DNA frag and summarises a lot of the findings to date.

http://www.andrologyjournal.org/cgi/content/full/27/3/316

DNA Integrity Tests in Clinical Practice: It Is Not a Simple Matter of Black and White (or Red and Green)

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There's also a Yahoo group for people who want to talk about this problem

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/DNAFrag

You would need to join the group to be able to read the messages.

Good luck!

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