Since the start of our services for patients TTC, nearly all of our service requests have come from clinical physicians. However, over time, there has been an increasing inquiry from patients who are typically searching the WEB to learn why they are not successful in achieving a pregnancy.
What is new in recent years is the ever growing evidence and awareness that male sperm factors are responsible for at least 40% of infertility. Furthermore, it has become evident from international research on sperm DNA fragmentation that about one-fourth of couples coming to an infertility clinic that the man has a high level of sperm DNA fragmentation that is likely contributing to couple infertility.
The majority of sperm DNA fragmentation research has been focused on IVF/ICSI pregnancy. Yet, only about 2% of pregnancies occur by IVF/ICSI thereby leaving the great majority (98%) of attempted pregnancies by the old fashioned means.
These couples, many of whom do not want to use IVF/ICSI, or can not afford these costly procedures, search out on their own with help from the WEB to answer the question of why they are not achieving pregnancies.
These couples know that the man needs to have a certain number of sperm in his semen and that the sperm must have motility to swim to the egg. Thus, most drug stores have self—help kits that can measure sperm count and level of motility. It is often these couples that call SCSA Diagnostics to ask for the SCSA test.
Therefore, we are now initiating a dual level service:
1) The standard physician-ordered SCSA test that with the doctor's signature the patient can file an insurance claim for the cost of this test.
2) A patient-requested test where the collection kit and shipping container are sent to a patient's home and returned to SCSA Diagnostics by a pre-paid shipping label. The results are sent back to the patient in the same way as that sent to the doctor. However, in this case, without the physician order, insurance companies will not reimburse the patient.
If a patient chooses the later, they may then use these results to seek medical help or not as they wish. Our initial use of this option finds that many patients have received the help needed to either visit their doctor with the new information or making a change in lifestyle that may have caused a high level of sperm DNA fragmentation and by changing this factor may have better success in achieving pregnancy. In some cases of idiopathic infertile couples, we have found that the man, even with semen values in the normal range, had such a high level of sperm DNA fragmentation that this factor is likely the cause of the infertility.