Around a quarter of all couples will experience a miscarriage. High levels of sperm DNA fragmentation have been shown to double the likelihood of a miscarriage occurring.
Around a quarter of all couples will experience the heartache of miscarriage at some time. While many of these will be a single sporadic event, some couples will suffer repeated – or recurrent – miscarriages. Recurrent miscarriage can be caused by several factors including abnormal chromosomes in the foetus, female hormonal problems or issues with the woman’s womb. Another significant factor in recurrent miscarriage is the quality of the man’s sperm DNA.
Sperm DNA is the most important part of the sperm. It contains the genetic instructions that will makes a baby look and act like its parents. Sperm DNA can be damaged during sperm production and transport. This damage is known as DNA fragmentation. High levels of sperm DNA fragmentation have been shown to double the likelihood of a miscarriage occurring.
Examen research shows that sperm from men whose partners have a history of miscarriage have higher levels of sperm DNA fragmentation than sperm from those whose partners deliver healthy babies. We have observed high sperm DNA damage in over 85% of men whose partners had recurrent miscarriages.This was true for couples who conceived naturally as well as those whose conceived with fertility treatment.
Sperm DNA fragmentation can be affected by things like stress, smoking, recreational drugs, obesity and other avoidable lifestyle factors. Men can make simple lifestyle changes to improve the quality of their sperm DNA. They can reduce their sperm oxidative stress levels by making healthier choices such as eating a better diet, taking more exercise, reducing weight, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and keeping their testes cool.
SpermComet® is Examen’s market leading sperm DNA fragmentation test. SpermComet® measures the actual DNA damage in individual sperm making it the most sensitive sperm DNA fragmentation test available. SpermComet® is highly predictive of male involvement in miscarriage. It can provide couples with a history of miscarriage with important information, allowing them to make informed decisions about their future pathways to starting their family.
Supporting miscarriage research
We are delighted to be working with the Tommy’s National Miscarriage Centre to further our understanding of the link between sperm DNA fragmentation and miscarriage. For more information click here.