Male Reproductive Health Panel (MRH)

The Male Reproductive Health (MRH) panel, which includes the SCFA, can help minimize the time, emotional and financial cost of ART attempts at pregnancy while maximizing your live birth rate. Standard semen analysis provides minimal information on a patient's male factor issues that are negatively affecting Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) attempts at pregnancy. 


In order to provide advanced sperm testing that goes beyond standard semen analysis providing clinically significant results, a Male Reproductive Health (MRH) Panel was developed by David B. Brown, Ph.D., President and CEO of Male Fertility Diagnostics, LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is offered exclusively through Unilab.

The Male Reproductive Health (MRH) Panel of tests identifies approximately 35% of the males whose sperm are analyzed in the tests as having male related issues. The MRH consists of three tests:

  • Sperm DNA Accelerated Decondensation (SDAD) Test: Measures Accelerated Sperm DNA Decondensation (Sperm Head Swelling)

  • Sperm DNA Decondensation (SDD) Test: Measures Delay in Sperm DNA Decondensation (Sperm Head Swelling)

  • Sperm Chromatin Fragmentation Assay (SCFA): Measures Fragmented Sperm DNA: Compromised DNA Integrity & Measures Immature Sperm

What is the Male Reproductive Health (MRH) Panel?

The MRH panel is a group of diagnostic tests that analyze how genetically fit sperm DNA is to do its job of fertilizing an egg which results in the creation of an embryo. The DNA message that each sperm carries is essential in the process of creating an embryo since it is needed to combine with the DNA message in the egg. If there is a significant problem with a sperms DNA message, the result may be a failure in the first trimester of pregnancy or a pregnancy may not occur at all. Without some type of intervention or treatment, this condition will continue to keep the chances of having a baby through natural conception or reproductive therapy (IUI, IVF) below the normal success rate.

What Tests Make Up the Male Reproductive Health (MRH) Panel?

  1. Sperm DNA Accelerated Decondensation (SDAD) Test: Measures Accelerated Sperm DNA Decondensation (Sperm Head Swelling)

  2. Sperm DNA Decondensation (SDD) Test: Measures Delay in Sperm DNA Decondensation (Sperm Head Swelling) 

  3. Sperm Chromatin Fragmentation Assay (SCFA): Measures Fragmented Sperm DNA: Compromised DNA Integrity & Measures Immature Sperm

Who Should Be Tested?

  1. All males Pre-ART

  2. Males with a varicocele(s)

  3. Males with known exposure to reproductive toxicants

  4. The male member of all couples experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss in the first trimester.

Sperm DNA Accelerated Decondensation (SDAD) Test and Sperm DNA Decondensation (SDD) Test Explained

Once a sperm has fertilized an egg, the DNA message must go through a transformational process in order for it to successfully combine with the eggs DNA message. The first step in this process is called decondensation. These tests assess whether or not the sperm DNA goes through normal decondensation process. Failure to go through the normal process may result in a partially or completely unreadable DNA message. leading to an increased chance of early pregnancy termination, or no pregnancy at all.

Sperm Chromatin Fragmentation Assay (SCFA) Test Explained

THE SCFA assesses the physical structure of sperm DNA. If there is too much damage (also known as DNA breaks) to key parts of the DNA message, then it may be rendered either partially or completely unreadable (and the pregnancy may terminate prematurely or not occur at all).

How Does The Outcome of the Tests That Make Up The Male Reproductive Health Panel (MRH) Help Your Physician Help You?

  • By use of the complete panel, ~40% of all fertility clinic patients with male factor issues will be identified; patients who can be directed to the appropriate Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) early on in their treatment avoiding ART that won’t work. 

  • Your scores from the SDD and SDAD Tests, and the SCFA will provide information to your physician that will be used to individualize your patient care, directing you to the treatment options best for you!

  • Knowing more about both male and female factors that may be negatively affecting your fertility will help minimize the time, and emotional and financial cost for you to bring home a baby! 

  • We are learning that some male factor issues are potentially reversible and/or treatable! 

Additional follow-up treatments for Abnormal MRH Panel Results may include:

  • Inquiry into and removal from possible exposures to occupational and/or environmental reproductive toxicants, medications, alcohol, tobacco products and/or drugs of abuse (See Occupational Exposure Risks)

  • If you have an abnormal SDD Test score and a varicocele(s) identified by a urologist, recent unpublished data suggests you might benefit from a varicocelectomy. 

  • Our most recent data shows that the daily use of Male Reproductive Supplements (MRS); anti-oxidant cocktails that include Vitamins C and E significantly improve abnormal SDAD Test scores. 

  • It is very important you choose your ART wisely based on more than standard semen analysis where the typical treatment strategy is shown below!

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