Oxidative stress test

Oxidative stress refers to the build-up of high levels of free oxygen radicals.

A sperm, drawn with Chinese calligraphy, TCM Healthcare — London fertility clinic

A certain level of these is essential for normal sperm function, but once the radicals perform their function, antioxidants are required to get rid of them.

This process must be continuous to maintain the required balance. Oxidative stress occurs when this balance is upset.

Put simply, oxidative stress leads to sperm damage and lower fertility.

In particular, research shows:

  • 25–80% of infertile men have a reduced antioxidant capacity and consequently high levels of oxidative stress, irrespective of pre-existing semen parameters
  • Oxidative stress can impact all major sperm parameters ie sperm count, motility, morphology and vitality
  • High oxidative stress levels cause sperm DNA fragmentation
  • High oxidative stress levels correlate to an increase in the time needed for natural pregnancy
  • High oxidative stress levels impairs fertilisation and reduces pregnancy rates after IVF



Includes a report, follow-up phone call to explain the result and to talk about potential treatments.

How long do results take?

Next working day

When can I do the test?

  • Monday to Friday, 7.00am–6.30pm
  • Saturday, 7am–12.30pm

Test conditions

2–3 days of ejaculation abstinence. As the sample will need to be processed within 20 minutes, it must be produced in a private room in a laboratory.

What next?

If infections are present, treatment of the infection can also reduce free oxygen radicals.

A diet rich in antioxidants can also help. Research has found some Chinese herbal medication contains high levels of antioxidants.

Our tests

We will explain the results to you and explore your options if there are issues. As a reputable laboratory carries out our tests, the results are accepted by all doctors and clinics in the world. Most results are available between 1 and 3 days.

Have a look at our comprehensive set of pathology tests below.

We’re also happy to offer advice on which tests you may want to take, and help interpret any results you already have.

Book a test

Call us on: 020 7096 0283

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While we are happy to explain your test results to you, we always advise consulting your GP and having a proper medical consultation about your result. This is because these tests are Western medical tests and are best explained by Western medical doctors. We do not accept any liability regarding interpretation of test results should you wish us help explaining them.

If you have booked a test and decide to change the time or date, we are more than happy to help you change it to one that is convenient to you at no extra charge. However, cancellation will carry a small administrative fee of £30, before refund.