By The Examen Team
Abby and her husband Daniel had experienced two miscarriages before Daniel was diagnosed with a low sperm count caused by an infection. With limited support available on the NHS, they contacted a fertility consultant who was able to tackle the infection and help Daniel to improve his sperm count. However, there is more to sperm than volume – quality counts. Daniel had high levels of sperm DNA damage but a clear fertility pathway was proving challenging to map out. Daniel and Abby wanted to learn more about the role of sperm DNA to understand why it matters so much and really fully understand his sperm DNA analysis.
At the same time as the couple were discovering how important sperm quality is, Abby found out she was pregnant again, but she was terrified that she might go through another miscarriage due to the high sperm DNA damage shown in Daniel’s results. Professor Sheena Lewis, male fertility expert and CEO of Examen, spoke to Abby to reassure her that although there are links between sperm DNA damage and miscarriage, a full picture of the couple’s clinical history and most recent sperm DNA profile is what mattered most when predicting the likelihood of miscarriage. In fact, owing to lifestyle changes and curing the infection, Daniel’s newly produced sperm, had a far better sperm DNA profile and fewer sperm with high DNA damage. Sheena helped Abby to understand the results, stay calm and enjoy her pregnancy.
“Please thank Professor Lewis from us. I had got myself in a terrible state and convinced myself we would have another miscarriage. She took the time to call me and explain Daniel’s sperm DNA test results and reminded me that 1 in 5 sperm with a healthy DNA profile was still classed as being within the fertile range. It was so reassuring to speak to someone who didn’t fob us off or want our money. And it helped me stay calm!” – Abby
On 28th October 2020, Abby and Daniel welcomed their healthy baby boy, weighing 9 lb 2 oz.
Sperm quality not quantity is what matters when it comes to becoming parents. Our research has demonstrated the links between sperm DNA damage, fertility, miscarriage and Artificial Reproductive Treatment (ART) success. It is not only important to have semen analysis, sperm DNA analysis is also vital in order to understand the likelihood of having a baby, either naturally or with fertility treatment. Examen not only measure the damage but we provide specific parameters of high and low levels of damage, which enables fertility experts to make informed recommendations for couples struggling with fertility.
There are many treatment options for those with high sperm DNA damage, it doesn’t necessarily mean the next step is ART fertility treatment. Simple lifestyle changes or urological clinical interventions could make a huge difference to sperm quality. As we’ve seen from Abby, making informed treatment choices is essential to ensure couples are not embarking on expensive fertility treatment as a first step, unnecessarily. We take measures to fully understand their sperm DNA profile and their medical history to base every decision on the facts.
Get in touch to offer Exact sperm DNA tests to your patients or learn more about the steps to take following an Exact test.