Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF)
In 1980, the first SDF test, the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA) was introduced. It “measures the susceptibility of DNA to denaturation, which occurs more commonly in fragmented DNA”, or in other words it is able to estimate the proportion of healthy spermatozoa in relation to those that have altered DNA inside them.
A sperm with fragmented DNA will lead to a pregnancy that has high chances for miscarriage and if not, with a malformed fetus that cannot survive.
This test is mainly used as a predictor and can sometimes justify unexplained infertility or predict a poor assisted reproductive outcome.
Impact on fertility
Both elevated sperm DNA fragmentation and poor sperm viability are linked to male infertility.