Sperm fragmentation is the result of a process that derives from an excessive presence of free radical that damages the DNA, compromising both fertilization and the early development of the embryo. A positive rate of fragmentation, can, by itself alone, explain repeated failures in assisted reproduction cycles.
In our laboratory the parameters for the evaluation of the fragmentation rate are the following:
- Less than 3%: good quality sperm.
- Between 20% and 30%: poor-quality sperm.
- More than 30%: severely altered sperm.
It is important to remember, that such rates can also be altered by factors such as sexual abstinence, the abuse of tobacco, the presence of white blood cells in seminal fluid, fever, infections, X or UV rays, and also by some medicines and/or environmental toxic substances.
Vitamin C and E can be successfully prescribed in cases of altered fragmentation index, taking advantage of their antioxidant effect which can decrease the formation of free radical and thus the fragmentation.