Innovative male infertility testing

Women's Centre and Hospital, a health care organisation for women in coimbatore, has signed an agreement with US based SCSA Diagnostics, to offer innovative male infertility testing facility, claimed to be first of its kind in the country.

As part of the agreement, the organisation will have the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA) testing lab at the hospital to accurately identify men suffering from infertility problems.

Speaking to reporters, Mirudhubashini Govindarajan, the clinical director of Women's Centre, said that the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA) is an assessment of sperm DNA fragmentation that identifies men with a highly reduced probability of initiating and supporting a successful pregnancy. This test comes as a boon for those couples suffering unexplained infertility, as they could avoid expensive infertility treatment, taking advantage of this new test.

She said that cases of male infertility have seen an increase and could be due to various reasons, including air pollution, insecticides and pesticides used by farmers, use of heavy metals like Cadmium by goldsmiths and exposure to extreme heat or the effects of electromagnetic waves produced from cell phones and laptops.

The SCSA test measures what the light microscope cannot see, namely the extremely important integrity of the male genome. It uses a sophisticated laser and computer based instrument called a flow cytometer and special proprietary software to calculate the results, Mirudhubashini said. The lab will be launched at the end of April.

Donald P Evenson, President and Director, SCSA Diagnostics INC, said that the SCSA test measures the percent of sperm in a semen sample that has fragmented DNA as well as the extent of that DNA fragmentation. The test results are significantly more stable over time than results obtained by conventional semen analysis, which look at sperm concentration, motility and shape, he added.

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