OBJECTIVE: Having an offspring is the most important human biological goal, which is necessary for survival of the human species. Lack of offspring is a phenomenon concerning approximately 15% of married couples in Poland. In a half of the cases, a causative agent is the male factor infertility problem. There is evidence that certain male fertility problems are related with disorders of the process of spermatogenesis. The course of normal spermatogenesis depends on proper pituitary secretion of folliculostimulin (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), as well as testicular secretion of testosterone. It is considered that in approximately 20% of patients with idiopathic infertility an elevated level of sperm DNA fragmentation may be the cause of failure in reproduction. The objective of the present study was determination of the relationship between FSH, LH and testosterone levels, and the occurrence of sperm DNA fragmentation.
METHODS: The present study was conducted in the year 2012 in the Non-Public Health Care Unit 'Ovum Reproduction and Andrology' in Lublin, and covered 186 men treated for infertility. For inclusion into the study group we qualified males aged 25-35, who have been treated for infertility for more than 1 year, with no pathological features observed in the female partner. The structure of sperm chromatin was evaluated using the technique of flow cytometry-Sperm Chromatin Structure assay (SCSA). The result of the examination was a sperm DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI), i.e., the percentage of sperm with DNA lesions (DNA fragmentation). A morning blood sample (5 mL volume) was obtained and sent to an authorized laboratory to assess serum levels of testosterone, LH and FSH.
RESULTS: An intensified sperm DNA fragmentation co-occurred with both extremely low and extremely high levels of FSH and LH. Sperm DNA fragmentation was negatively correlated with testosterone level.