By The Examen Team
In December 2023 we received such wonderful news as little Leon was welcomed into the world.
Leon’s parents provide a detailed account from the moment they knew there were fertility issues, to how they approached these, and to receiving a successful outcome following a challenging 3 years. We were delighted to have helped play a part in their journey alongside their Doctor Mr Ramsay, Consultant Urologist and Andrologist.
“In December 2019 we realised we had fertility issues and after 3 months of trying to conceive a baby, my partner had a sperm test. Living near Kensington in England we attended a fertility show the same weekend my partner got his results to find out more. We listened to Mr Ramsay give a talk and then spoke to the staff at the Examen Lab stall where we learnt about DNA fragmentation – a type of male fertility test that measures the amount of damaged DNA in a sperm sample.
Unfortunately, we had our first NHS IVF cycle cancelled due to the pandemic, so we decided to go private to access IVF as quickly as possible. We attended a clinic with our Sperm DNA Fragmentation result from the EXACT test we got performed by Examen in Belfast. It was really straight forward to send a sperm sample to Examen, the team were really helpful, and we received the test results really quickly.
We attended several clinics before moving to clinical care at Lister, where we met with Mr Ramsay who has completely transformed our lives. The team were completely on board with doing things that might overcome issues like IMSI and PGT-A testing*.
We found ourselves facing more IVF and as a couple we knew our sperm DNA Fragmentation levels were in the very high range, which was obviously not good. But somehow having a reason for our infertility issues and failed IVF attempts, alongside suggestions from Mr Ramsay on how to improve the quality of sperm and reduce the level of DNA fragmentation, gave us something to work towards, making us focus on ways of overcoming the issue.
Over the course of 3 years we were able to monitor what impact certain medications, diet and lifestyle changes had on the DNA fragmentation results. It also gave us a good foundational understanding of the issue and what our treatment options were. We were able to benchmark the sperm results over the course of our treatment. Mr Ramsay gave us some advice as did a dietician. Nothing massively changed, incremental changes occurred with certain dietary changes and supplements, but nothing had a really significant effect. I read a lot of academic papers over the course of our treatment and read that ubiquinol could help with sperm DNA fragmentation, so my partner started taking this as a supplement. For us this singular variable made a significant impact where we went from having ‘the worst results our IVF Doctor had ever seen’ to getting a range that was ‘indicative of a successful outcome in IVF’.
Receiving our ‘EXACT’ DNA fragmentation test result from Examen that was within the range was an amazing feeling, it gave us the confidence that our embryos had the chance of success.
DNA fragmentation results helped us feel in control of our situation, treatment options and also helped inform important decisions like my partner having a TESE operation, and the test helped us know that this was a viable option for us.”
At Examen we love to hear about babies born to couples who used our EXACT DNA test to help guide them in their fertility journey and we wish Leon and his parents the very best.
Starting your fertility journey? Take the first step and find out how you could book your EXACT test today by clicking here.
*PGT-A (previously known as preimplantation genetic screening or PGS/PGD) – involves checking embryos created by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for abnormalities in the number of chromosomes.