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Three hour abstinence as a treatment for high sperm DNA fragmentation: a prospective cohort study.

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2020 Nov 12;:

Authors: Dahan MH, Mills G, Khoudja R, Gagnon A, Tan G, Tan SL

PURPOSE: This study sought to compare sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in semen specimens after 3 days and then after 3 h of abstinence in men presenting for initial infertility evaluation.
METHODS: A prospective cohort study of 112 men undergoing their first semen analysis as part of an infertility work-up was conducted. All participants presented with 3 days of abstinence for a semen analysis and DNA-fragmentation test. Both tests were repeated on a second sample collected 3 h after the first ejaculation. DNA-fragmentation was evaluated with the halo test by one of two technicians blinded to duration of abstinence. Variables analyzed include ejaculate volume, sperm concentration and motility, smoking status, cannabis use, initial specimen DNA fragmentation, and use of sperm-directed anti-oxidant formulations.
RESULTS: Among all subjects, DNA fragmentation improved in the 3-h abstinence specimen (34.6 ± 19.4% vs. 23.7 ± 16.0%, p = 0.0001). Among subjects with high DNA fragmentation (> 35%) on the initial specimen, 55% improved into the normal range. Semen volume and sperm concentration decreased (3.1 ± 3.3 ml vs. 1.9 ± 0.8 ml, p < 0.01 and 41 ± 39 vs. 32 ± 31 (millions/ml), p = 0.01), while progressive motility tended to increase. Fifty-eight subjects demonstrated ≥ 30% improvement in SDF in the second specimen as compared to the first. Factors found to correlate with > 30% improvement in DNA fragmentation in the 3-h abstinence specimen compared to 3 days were younger age and use of anti-oxidants.
CONCLUSION: High SDF can often be managed with a second ejaculation 3 h after the first in infertile couples, including in males with abnormal semen analyses per the 2010 WHO guide. Apart from SDF levels, changes in sperm quality were not clinically significant in the second specimen and did not increase rates of ICSI. However, a second ejaculation after 3 h probably may reduce the necessity of costly and/or invasive ART strategies.

PMID: 33179134 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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