Practical considerations for DNA fragmentation testing in the management of male fertility

Jason R. Kovac

Abstract

Over the past decade, the importance of DNA fragmentation has matured as more studies suggested a role in the management of male fertility. As a measure of spermatogenic damage from reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA fragmentation occurs primarily during posttesticular processing through the epididymis (1,2). Given that spermatozoa are exquisitely sensitive to oxidative stress, varicoceles, a known cause of elevated ROS levels, are theorized to be one of the major contributors.