Objective: Oral antioxidants are one of the options for treating male patients with idiopathic infertility associated with increased sperm DNA fragmentation. The aim of this study is to assess the contribution of antioxidant treatment duration to treatment success in this patient group.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study (between 2014 and 2019), 637 patients who received antioxidant therapy for male infertility were retrospectively analyzed. The results of patients with 30% or more sperm DNA damage and who did not meet the exclusion criteria and who had at least 6 months of follow-up were evaluated. DNA damage, semen parameters, and laboratory results of the patients receiving antioxidant therapy were evaluated before the treatment and at the third and sixth months of treatment.
Results: A total of 53 patients with follow-up data met the study criteria. Significant decreases were observed in sperm DNA fragmentation index (DFI) values in the third and sixth months of the treatment. The sperm DFI was a median of 44% (interquartile range, 13.7%) before the treatment and 33.3% (IQR, 20.9%) after the 3 months and 18% (IQR, 13.4%) after the 6 months. Additionally, during the antioxidant treatment, a statistically significant decrease was observed between the third and sixth month DFI values.
Conclusion: In idiopathic infertility cases, antioxidant treatment may have positive effects on sperm DFI values, and the pro-longation of the treatment period may make an additional contribution to treatment success for infertile men with increased sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF). Nevertheless, possible side effects cost of treatment, patient compliance, and the condition of the partner should be considered while planning the duration of treatment.