Clinical utility of sperm DNA fragmentation testing: concise practice recommendations

Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Sep;6(Suppl 4):S366-S373. doi: 10.21037/tau.2017.07.28.


Sperm DNA integrity is generally acknowledged as an essential component for human reproduction. While the negative impact of high sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) on outcomes of natural pregnancy and assisted reproductive technology (ART) is well known, the clinical indication of SDF testing is less well defined. A recent review on clinical utility of SDF testing highlighted the different SDF assays and clinical indications of SDF testing. This concise practice recommendations aim at summarizing the evidence and presenting to the readers the essence of the clinical utility of SDF testing based on the currently existing evidence. The potential role of SDF testing in varicocelectomy candidates, couples with recurrent pregnancy loss, patients with unexplained infertility, couples with failed assisted reproduction, and infertile men with exposure to modifiable lifestyle risk factors is illustrated. Recommendations from an expert panel on each clinical condition is presented, with levels of evidence.

Keywords: Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF); assisted reproduction technology (ART); male infertility; varicocele.

Publication types

  • Editorial