Learn about Men and IVF Treatment

Many infertile couples are directed towards assisted reproduction treatments like IVF. Examen research shows that high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation reduces the success of these treatments.

Infertility affects 15% of couples. Often these couples are directed towards assisted reproduction treatments, like IVF and ICSI. If the man’s semen analysis is normal, the couple will be usually be offered IVF as a first line of treatment. This treatment choice overlooks the fact that up to 80% of men with normal semen analyses have hidden sperm DNA fragmentation. High levels of sperm DNA fragmentation have been shown to reduce the success of fertility treatments like IVF.

Learn about Men and IVF Treatment

Sperm DNA fragmentation

DNA is the most important part of the sperm. It contains the genetic instructions that make a baby look and act like its parents. Sperm DNA can be damaged during sperm production and transport. This damage is known as DNA fragmentation. Examen research shows that as sperm DNA fragmentation increases, the chance of having an IVF baby decreases. Even low levels of DNA fragmentation reduce the success of IVF. Recent independent research shows that having more cycles of IVF does not improve your chances of success with each treatment (Smith et al, 2015; McLernon et al, 2016).

ICSI is a more successful treatment than IVF if a man has high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation. This may be because ICSI injects one sperm into the egg and the egg has a better chance of repairing the DNA damage. If you and your partner have had unsuccessful IVF, it makes sense to check out the quality of your sperm DNA to see if that is a cause of your disappointment.


SpermComet® is Examen’s market leading sperm DNA fragmentation test. SpermComet® measures the actual DNA damage in individual sperm making it the most sensitive DNA damage test available. SpermComet® is highly predictive of male infertility, male involvement in miscarriage and IVF success. It is the only test that can be used to check sperm quality for men with low sperm count.

Learn about the test

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