SpermComet test for men: Why you may need sperm DNA analysis

8th April 2016 in News

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Did you know that many couples that have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility could have a problem with sperm DNA?

We can identify if sperm DNA could be the cause of your fertility problems through the new SpermComet test.

But what does this test look for? And why are the results so important?

What is the SpermComet test?

The SpermComet test is a highly-sensitive, accurate test that measures the amount of DNA damage in each individual sperm. 

How is SpermComet different from other sperm DNA tests?

Testing techniques using dye to analyse DNA damage only give an overall indication of sperm DNA damage across the whole sample. SpermComet is the first test of its kind to reveal the amount of damage in each sperm. 

Why would we need the SpermComet test?

Many healthy fertile men have some small degree of DNA damage in their sperm without causing any issues. 

But high levels of sperm DNA damage can be a cause of unexplained infertility, or recurrent miscarriage. SpermComet testing will tell you if damaged DNA in your sperm could be the reason you haven’t conceived naturally, have suffered miscarriage or if previous IVF cycles have failed.

I’ve had a semen analysis test and it showed a normal result?

A semen analysis test will examine sperm count, mobility to ensure your sperm can swim to the egg, and the shape of your sperm to make sure it can move as it should. But it doesn’t tell you the amount of DNA damage in your sperm. In initial testing, SpermComet detected DNA damage in 80% of men who returned a ‘normal’ semen analysis result. 

What are my treatment options if I have DNA damaged sperm?

Our male fertility specialists will recommend the best course of treatment that gives you the highest chances of success, based on the extent of DNA damage in your sperm. This could mean opting for ICSI instead of IVF and even Surgical Sperm Retrieval if sperm DNA damage is extensive. 

What are the chances of pregnancy if my sperm has DNA damage?

What’s important is the extent of DNA damage in your sperm. By using specialist techniques we can choose only the sperm that has the best chance of fertilisation and pregnancy. SpermComet is so sensitive it can even predict the chances of fertilisation and embryo quality from your sperm.

Success rates from fertility treatments are dependent upon many factors, not just sperm quality but also egg quality. Your Manchester Fertility consultant will be able to tell you your individual chances of success based on your results and the results of your partner’s fertility tests.

Can I have the SpermComet test with you privately?

You can self-refer for a SpermComet test and we recommend our package, which includes a semen analysis and a consultation with one of our Doctors. Please contact our Patient Advisors for more information. 

Last updated: 10th March 2021