By Sheena Lewis
Whilst Christmas is a time of joy and celebration for most couples, it can be a difficult time for those trying to have a baby. As the family gathers, the longing for a child to share this special time can feel overwhelming and so too can the strain of feeling unable to reveal what you and your partner are really going through.
Infertility can be a dark, all-consuming time, so it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggle this Christmas. Thousands of couples are in a similar position, seeking answers and wrestling with their emotions in the same way as you. Now more than ever, men are speaking more openly about their feelings, creating private networks and groups to support each other with helpful insights and information based on their own experiences. There are many support groups out there so if you haven’t already done so, add looking into these to your action list today – don’t wait to make it a New Year’s resolution!
Access to additional information and resources is important but you may feel like you’re drowning in news, articles and adverts about female infertility. There is valuable information out there for men, you just may need to do a little more digging to find it. Examen believes that male fertility is equally as important as female fertility and we have spent 25 years researching the causes and seeking answers to difficult questions to understand what impacts a man’s ability to get his partner pregnant and have a baby.
We know, without a doubt, that men with badly damaged sperm DNA are less likely to get their partner pregnant, have double the risk of miscarriage and are less likely to be successful with fertility treatment, such as IVF. We have found that 80 percent of the men attending fertility clinics, who had normal sperm counts, had a high sperm DNA damage result using our Exact test. Once you understand your levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (or sperm DNA damage) you have the information you need to make important decisions about the next steps that are right for you.
Simple lifestyle changes can reduce sperm DNA damage, as can certain clinical treatments. Drinking less and eating a healthy diet are just two of the ways you can help reduce your levels of sperm DNA damage. In the festive period, you will need to be extra strong-willed to leave the processed food and alcohol alone, but it will be worth it.
Examen has a range of Exact sperm DNA tests available through specialists. Speak to your fertility expert about Exact tests and find out more about how the test results could help you find the answers you’ve been searching for. For some, next Christmas might look entirely different, meanwhile, we will continue to dedicate everything we do to helping men become dads.