Purpose: To evaluate if sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in the sample used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) impacts outcomes after euploid blastocyst transfer.
Methods: Prospective cohort study of couples undergoing IVF with preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy from December 2014-June 2017. Sperm collected on the day of ICSI was analyzed for SDF using the sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA®). Semen analysis parameters, embryologic outcomes, and clinical outcomes after euploid blastocyst transfer were compared between groups with DNA fragmentation index (DFI) ≤ 15% and DFI > 15% using Mann-Whitney U, t tests, and generalized linear mixed effects models.
Results: Two hundred thirty-four patients were included. One hundred seventy-nine men had DFI ≤ 15% (low DFI group) and 55 men had DFI > 15% group (high DFI group). Total motile sperm and sperm concentration were significantly lower in the group with DFI > 15% vs. DFI ≤ 15%. There was no difference in fertilization (86.3 vs. 84.2%, adjusted OR (95% CI) 0.86 (0.63-1.18)), blastulation (49.5 vs. 48.8%, adjusted OR 1.02 (0.75-1.36)), or euploidy (55.7 vs. 52.1%, adjusted OR 0.96 (0.7-1.31)) between the low and high DFI groups, respectively. Clinical outcomes were similar between low and high DFI groups, including implantation rate (68.8 vs. 79.8%), ongoing pregnancy rate (65.9 vs. 72.6%), and miscarriage rate (4.2 vs. 8.8%), respectively.
Conclusion: Sperm DNA fragmentation on the day of ICSI is not associated with embryologic or clinical outcomes after euploid blastocyst transfer. Increasing levels of SDF are associated with low sperm concentration and total motile sperm count.
Keywords: DNA fragmentation; IVF; Infertility; Male factor; Sperm.