Male Fertility Profile
The male fertility profile is a group of five tests that provide a detailed analysis of male fertility.
The semen sample is visually assessed under a microscope against key parameters including sperm count, motility and morphology.
The aim of the sperm preparation process is to select the population of sperm that will most likely result in successful fertilisation. The semen is filtered to isolate the healthiest sperm. These are then washed in a solution which contains broad spectrum antibiotics to minimise the risk of infection. The washing solution also hyperactiviates the sperm to give the sperm even more energy to increase their ability to fertilise the egg.
By performing a semen preparation, we can evaluate whether intrauterine insemination is a possible treatment option and whether IVF or ICSI may be required. Some sperm may be particularly fragile and not prepare well and this test allows us to identify the treatment option which will give the best chance of a successful outcome.
Following the sperm preparation procedure, the sperm sample is placed in a special incubator for 24 hours, which mimicks the female reproductive tract. Sperm count, motility and progression are then calculated. These results are analysed and compared to the original semen analysis. If 50% of sperm have survived overnight and are progressing well, we would consider this as normal. If the sperm do not survive well overnight, this may indicate certain treatment types, such as IUI or IVF may not be suitable. ICSI or IMSI may then be the preferred treatment type.
Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test
The sperm DNA fragmentation test checks for the integrity of the genetic material (DNA) in sperm. Lifestyle factors such as smoking and scrotal heat exposure, and causes of male infertility such as varicocele and chronic infection, can lead to sperm DNA damage. High DNA fragmentation accounts for cases of unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage and failed IVF cycles.
Reactive Oxidative Species (ROS) Test
Oxidative stress (OS) has been known to affect male fertility status and can impair sperm production and function at the molecular level. The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by sperm is a normal process but an imbalance is detrimental to the sperm. An imbalance can be caused by an excessive production of ROS or due to diminished antioxidants. This can lead to sperm DNA damage and interfere with other processes involved with fertilisation. Increased oxidative stress is correlated with unexplained infertility and reduced spontaneous pregnancy rates. The results will be discussed with your consultant and a recommendation to start antioxidants may be given.