Sperm DNA fragmentation index and cumulative live birth rate in a cohort of 2,713 couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment

High sperm DNA fragmentation index predicts lower cumulative live birth rate if in vitro fertilization and not intracytoplasmic sperm injection is applied in the first cycle of assisted reproduction.

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VOLUME 116, ISSUE 6, P1483-1490


Sladjana Malić Vončina, Ph.D., Amelie Stenqvist, M.D., Mona Bungum, Ph.D., Tommy Schyman, Aleksander Giwercman, Ph.D.



To study how the choice of the first assisted reproductive technology treatment type affects the cumulative live birth rate (CLBR) in couples with high sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI).


Longitudinal cohort study.


University-affiliated fertility clinic.


A total of 2,713 infertile couples who underwent assisted reproductive technology treatment between 2007 and 2017 were included in the study. All in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatments (up to three fresh treatments and all associated frozen-thawed embryo transfers) offered to the couples by the public health care system were included, in total 5,422 cycles.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

The primary outcome was the CLBR. The secondary outcomes were the fertilization rate and the miscarriage rate. The IVF and ICSI groups were defined according to the method applied in the first treatment cycle.


In the IVF group, the CLBR values were higher for couples with normal DFI compared with those for couples with high DFI (≥20%) (48.1% vs. 41.6% for conservative CLBR estimate and 55.6% vs. 51.4% for optimal CLBR estimate after adjustment for female age, respectively). No DFI-dependent difference was seen in the ICSI group.


Our results demonstrated that a high DFI predicts a statistically significantly lower CLBR if IVF and not ICSI is applied in the first cycle of assisted reproduction.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.