Zygote. 2022 Jun 9:1-8. doi: 10.1017/S0967199422000119. Online ahead of print.
The aim of our study was to evaluate the correlation between sperm quality and ploidy status of the derived blastocysts. We performed a retrospective analysis on a restricted pool of patients enrolling only those who had no female factors. Male patients with genetic factors affecting spermatogenesis were also excluded. We chose a maternal age ≤38 years to decrease the female factor, therefore the male factor was the main component of sterility. We divided the patients in four groups based on semen quality and comparing fertilization, pregnancy and euploidy rates above all. In total, 201 intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles were enrolled in the study. Cycles were divided into four groups, according to semen source: normal semen, oligoasthenoteratozoospermia (OAT), cryptospermia or non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA). An extremely statistically lower fertilization rate was found in NOA patients. Unexpectedly, no differences were detected in blastocyst formation, euploidy, aneuploidy and mosaicism rates among the four groups. Interestingly, we also found a higher abortion rate comparing NOA to normal semen with an odds ratio of 4.67. In our study no statistically significant differences among the analyzed groups were found, showing little or no effect at all using spermatozoa from different semen sources or quality. This may be linked to the oocyte competence of fixing sperm DNA damage and it could be hypothesized that only sperm with a good rate of DNA integrity are able to fertilize the oocyte, explaining why poor quality semen is reflected in a low fertilization rate without effect on ploidy.