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DNA Fragmentation Index Test

The DFI test, or DNA Fragmentation Index test, measures the integrity of DNA within the sperm's head. Elevated DFI levels have been associated with lower rates of conception among couples. Sperm DNA fragmentation refers to alterations or deletions in DNA bases, as well as the breaking or separating of one or both DNA strands within the sperm. This fragmentation encompasses both single and double strand breaks.

Why Is It Important to Check DNA Fragmentation Index?

Historically, male infertility assessment primarily relied on a semen analysis, which assessed sperm count, motility, and morphology but overlooked DNA integrity. However, it's essential to recognize that sperm appearing normal in motility and morphology according to traditional semen analysis may still have considerable DNA fragmentation. Research indicates that as many as 8% of infertile men exhibit elevated levels of sperm DNA fragmentation despite normal semen parameters. Therefore, evaluating sperm DNA fragmentation is crucial for accurately assessing male fertility.

Causes of Sperm DNA Damage

Advanced age

Cigarette smoking

Environmental toxins

Genital tract inflammation

Infrequent ejaculation


Testicular hyperthermia (use of hot baths, saunas, laptop computers and prolonged periods of driving)

‍Drugs, chemotherapy and radiation therapy

What are the steps of calculating DNA fragmentation index of sperm?

The DNA fragmentation index (DFI) of sperm is assessed through a simple test, similar to a standard semen analysis-


Initially, a semen sample is collected from the male partner for assessment


Our team of specialized embryologists conducts a comprehensive analysis of the semen sample using advanced diagnostic tests to quantify sperm DNA fragmentation. With an effective fertility strategy, this condition can be addressed. Should sperm DNA fragmentation be diagnosed, our fertility specialists will collaborate with you and your partner to devise an appropriate solution during a personalized consultation.

Treatment for Sperm DNA damage

Improving sperm DNA integrity depends on the underlying cause of damage. Lifestyle adjustments like quitting smoking, minimizing toxin exposure, and incorporating zinc and antioxidant supplements may aid in enhancing sperm DNA. Fertility specialists may recommend additional tailored clinical interventions to address specific concerns.