Sperm chromatin structure analysis (SCSA) is another name for sperm DNA fragmentation test or sperm chromatin fragmentation test.
Testing And Treatment Advances For Sperm Quality
Today, with the tremendous strides that have been made in fertility testing and infertility treatments, there is increased attention being paid to the quality of sperm. Evaluating motility, quality, quantity and structure are all commonplace assessments in the bid to help infertile couples achieve the dream of having their own baby. In the not-too-distant past, the bulk of testing and evaluation rested with the woman and her fertility issues.
Over time, that has changed and the understanding that infertility is split 50/50 when it comes to men and women has opened the door to diagnosis and treatment for men as well as women.
A Bit About DNA Transporting
Evaluation of sperm quality has become a more prominent test. A sperm or semen test on its own is of little value since sperm counts fluctuate significantly in most men daily. As a result, a more in depth analysis is necessary to determine efficacy of the sperm. Essentially, sperm could be considered a vehicle for transporting DNA from a man into a woman's egg. You have to admit, that's a lot of information for one tiny transporter to contain.
The DNA wraps itself around blocks of protein which protects the DNA from damage en route to the egg. The combination of DNA and protein blocks is called chromatin. Even though the protein block's job is to protect the DNA some will be damaged and can become fragmented.
SCSA-The Test That Is Gaining Prominence
There are a few tests available to assess the level of sperm DNA fragmentation. However, the one that is gaining recognition and receiving attention is the SCSA, sperm chromatin structure analysis. This test is based on the thought that fragmented DNA will become evident through the taking up of a dye that is introduced into the sperm. During the test, the sperm is treated with a chemical which allows entry of a special dye into the sperm cell.
The dye infiltrates the DNA structure and if there is a fragmentation, then the cells will pick up more die than they would if there were no fragmentations. A computer program helps to determine via graphing what percentage of sperm have fragmented DNA.