Recurrent miscarriages can be devastating for couples. Usually, tests are carried out on the woman to determine the cause of the miscarriages. However, a recent study has revealed that recurrent miscarriages could actually be linked to faulty sperm. It is thought DNA damage is a major contributor to recurrent miscarriages. Here, we’ll look at what the recent study discovered and what it means for the future of fertility treatments.
What did the study find?
The study, carried out by the Imperial College London, looked into the sperm quality of 50 men. Their partners had suffered recurring miscarriages, which medically refers to at least three miscarriages in a row. There were 110 men involved in the study overall.
When they compared the results to men whose partners hadn’t experienced a miscarriage, it was discovered there was more DNA damage present in the sperm. They are hoping this small-scale study will open the doors to further research and the identification of treatments to reduce miscarriage risk.
Study highlights importance of male health in fertility
Although only a small study, its results do highlight the importance of male health in fertility. It is thought that bacteria left over from previous infections could be a factor in the increased sperm DNA damage. The bacteria which lives within the prostate gland, would increase the levels of reactive oxygen species. Obesity is also known to lead to fertility issue in men. It’s thought that an increased fat content can lead to a reactive oxygen species increase, in turn affecting fertility.
According to the results of the recent study, age could also be a factor in the poorer sperm quality of the men studied. Those whose partners had suffered a miscarriage were seven years older than the other group of men. They were also slightly more overweight. The researchers are now looking into whether these factors could have affected the reactive oxygen species levels.
Further research into recurrent miscarriage needs to be carried out
The results of this latest study highlight the need for additional research to be carried out. In particular, more needs to be discovered about whether reactive oxygen species increase the risk of miscarriages. If it is found they have an impact on fertility, new treatment solutions could be developed to lower the levels.
Understanding that both partners health could contribute to fertility is crucial in diagnosis and treatment. Although medicine has been very slow to catch up to the fact that male sperm could be the cause of miscarriages, this new study goes some way to increase awareness. Now, further research into sperm health and miscarriages will help to potentially develop new treatment avenues.
It’s thought that one in 50 couples experience recurring miscarriages in the UK. This new study will hopefully lead the way to more in-depth, larger studies being carried out. Couples who are currently experiencing troubles conceiving naturally should reach out to a fertility specialist. There are numerous treatments currently available, along with tests for both the male and female partner.
Call 07835 736627 for more advice from SureScan Women’s Health Clinic.