Special Investigations



1. What is DFI?

DFI stands for Sperm DNA Fragmentation Index. It measures the percentage of sperms in a sample with DNA breaks/fragments which is a marker of DNA damage.

2. For whom is it done?

DFI is suggested for couples with

Unexplained infertility

Recurrent pregnancy loss

IUI failures

IVF or ICSI failures

3. What is normal DFI?

15% or less fragmentation : excellent sperm DNA integrity

15 to 30% : good to fair

More than 30%: poor sperm DNA integrity

4. What are the causes for high DFI?


Cigarette smoking

Drug abuse

Exposure to environmental and occupational pollutants

Advanced age / varicocele

Illness with high fever

Elevated testicular temperature (laptops, hot tubs)

Chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and cancer treatment, poor diet and obesity

5. How does this test help in treatment?

High DFI can cause fertility issues. Measures to reduce oxidative stress help decrease DFI and improve fertility potential

6. Measures to follow to reduce DFI?

Avoid hot tubs and tight fitting underwears

Healthy diet full of fruits and vegatables, rich in antioxidants.

Exercise regularly

Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption

Evaluate varicoceles with a urologist and take an opinion regarding surgical correction

Use supplements containing vitamins and antioxidants

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