Fragmentation of spermatozoa’s DNA is an important factor in the etiology of male infertility. Nevertheless, this analysis is still not used as a routine method for assessing male fertility. It has been shown by Ruvolo et al. that men with a high level of DNA fragmentation have significantly lower chances to conceive naturally or with assisted reproductive technologies such as intrauterine insemination and IVF. Ideally, DNA fragmentation should be kept to a minimum where possible. Oxidative stress is the main cause of DNA fragmentation in spermatozoa. Endogenous and exogenous factors contributing to oxidative stress are discussed, and in many cases are easily controlled. Oral antioxidants play an important protective role, although the delicate balance of redox reactions is required for normal maturation and functioning of gametes, as well as fertilization. Reducing oxidative stress and a complex approach can improve a couple's chances to conceive naturally or with assisted reproductive technologies. Sources of oxidative stress should be carefully studied in men with a high level of DNA fragmentation and modified where possible.
Authors declare lack of the possible conflicts of interests.