Single and double strand sperm DNA damage: Different reproductive effects on male fertility

Jordi Ribas-Maynou, Jordi Benet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

81 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Reproductive diseases have become a growing worldwide problem and male factor plays an important role in the reproductive diagnosis, prognosis and design of assisted reproductive treatments. Sperm cell holds the mission of carrying the paternal genetic complement to the oocyte in order to contribute to an euploid zygote with proper DNA integrity. Sperm DNA fragmentation had been used for decades as a male fertility test, however, its usefulness have arisen multiple debates, especially around Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatments. In the recent years, it has been described that different types of sperm DNA breaks (single and double strand DNA breaks) cause different clinical reproductive effects. On one hand, single-strand DNA breaks are present extensively as a multiple break points in all regions of the genome, are related to oxidative stress and cause a lack of clinical pregnancy or an increase of the conception time. On the other hand, double-strand DNA breaks are mainly localized and attached to the sperm nuclear matrix as a very few break points, are possibly related to a lack of DNA repair in meiosis and cause a higher risk of miscarriage, low embryo quality and higher risk of implantation failure in ICSI cycles. The present work also reviews different studies that may contribute in the understanding of sperm chromatin as well as treatments to prevent sperm DNA damage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Assisted reproduction
  • DNA fragmentation
  • Implantation
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Sperm DNA damage


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