The fertility evaluation criteria for men is confined. Its commonly known practise where a male’s semen is collected for analysis. With advancement in technology, we have more sophisticated methods to analyse sperm on a molecular level which helps to collected deeper insight of a man’s fertility and increase a male’s probability to conceive. Epigenetic testing is done to identify the sperm’s epigenome, and parameters that are linked to the infertility such as low sperm quality, poor results of IVF.
How is male fertility tested?
Sperm is the most important when it comes to male fertility, followed by questions like sperm count, sperm quality, sperm motility, morphology etc. The general conception of a male infertility test is to look at the sperm shape and motility done in the semen analysis which is done to determine the male fertility.
Its not just about the sperm count, the sperm must have the motility to reach upto the egg and fertilize it, thus providing the DNA required for the embryo development. A male’s sperm must be able to fertilize a woman’s egg. A male’s sperm is passed into the vagina after intercourse. However, it doesn’t end there. To diagnose the issues pertaining to male fertility which can occur at either of these important stages. Male’s fertility can be viewed deeper only if looked at the sperm epigenetics.
What do epigenetic tests measure?
Epigenetics tests are done to study the DNA at deeper levels and understand the gene factor by examining the cells. Other factors such as age, stress, lifestyle habits affect the epigenetic process which is embedded in the DNA. Scientists have examined the sperm linked to sperm function, and initial stages of embryo development.
When to consider going for epigenetic sperm screening test?
There are multiple instances where epigenetic sperm test possibly can positively affect the infertility treatment result.
When you have “unexplained” infertility: On assessment of the semen analysis and the female fertility tests and results yet the reason for the infertility remains unexplained hence the name unexplained infertility. Perhaps something wrong in the sperm which could not be diagnosed in the semen analysis. Studying the sperm at the DNA level helps us gain deeper insight of the root cause of the infertility.
When you are opting for IVF: Besides the issues associated with the semen parameters, there are other factors such as abnormal DNA methylation linked with poor IVF results which impacts the initial stages of embryogenesis.
When you are accustomed to negative lifestyle habits: Few risk factors such as Smoking, age, obesity and BMI >25, all contribute to abnormalities in your DNA which direct to the infertility.