Semen parameters and sperm DNA fragmentation as causes of recurrent pregnancy loss

Urology. 2011 Oct;78(4):792-6. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.05.049. Epub 2011 Aug 2.


Objectives: To evaluate and compare standard sperm parameters, and sperm DNA fragmentation in seminal ejaculates from men whose partners had a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) and in a control group of men who had recently established their fertility.

Methods: Semen samples from 31 patients with a history of recurrent pregnancy loss and 20 men with proven fertility were analyzed according to World Health Organization guidelines. Sperm DNA fragmentation was detected by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assay.

Results: When sperm quality of the control group was compared with that of the RPL group, a significant difference was observed in sperm motility, but not in other parameters. The mean number of sperm cells with fragmented DNA was significantly increased in the RPL group (32.22 ± 6.14%) compared with control donors (10.20 ± 2.1%).

Conclusions: Our data indicate that sperm from men with a history of RPL have a higher incidence of DNA damage and poor motility than sperm from a control group, and this can explain in part the pregnancy loss in these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • DNA Fragmentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Recurrence
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Sperm Motility
  • Spermatozoa / pathology*