With statistics verified by the NHS indicating that around one in a hundred women experience the heartbreak of recurrent miscarriage – that is losing three or more pregnancies in a row – a leading Bristol fertility clinic has taken delivery of an advanced new test machine that allows quick and accurate analysis to assess whether sperm damage may be a contributory factor
According to Karla Turner, senior andrologist at the Bristol Centre for Reproductive Medicine (BCRM), up to half the fertility cases they see involve a problem with sperm which prove to be immature, abnormally shaped, or unable to swim when tested.
Karla Turner said: “Although the main problem very often lies with the male partner, male fertility issues are not widely discussed or investigated.
“Men with high levels of damaged sperm DNA are less likely to get their partner pregnant and have double the risk of miscarriage. The main cause of DNA damage is oxidative stress. Even if a man’s sperm count is normal, the sperm quality may not be good enough to result in a pregnancy.
“So, experts recommend semen analysis, oxidative stress and/or sperm DNA testing to provide a full picture of a man’s fertility.
“Our new test kit, the cutting-edge MiOXSYS system, measures oxidative stress and enables us to provide quickly, easily and with full confidence a measurement of the quality and potential of sperm
“Although sometimes sperm DNA damage is beyond personal control, there are several steps that can help men improve their fertility journey, so if the test reveals a problem with a man’s sperm, he should discuss the implications with a consultant.
“Once a man knows there’s a problem with his sperm, and what the nature of that problem is, he may benefit from one of a number of treatments available to improve sperm quality – sometimes medicines, particular vitamin supplements or lifestyle changes may help, while in other cases a form of IVF treatment may be suggested.”
Male fertility is one of the subjects being addressed at BCRM’s upcoming open-to-all Fertility Fair, running from 10am-5pm on Saturday 10 September at their clinic at Aztec West. Attendance at the event is free of charge and includes a no-cost private mini fertility consultation for guests. Register for the event by calling 01172 591159.
Alternatively any men or couples who wish to investigate if sperm damage may be responsible for recurrent miscarriage or conception problems can find out more by phoning BCRM or emailing lab@BCRM.clinic to book a semen analysis, DNA fragmentation or oxidative stress test.
BCRM offers the most comprehensive and advanced fertility tests available for men wishing to find out more about their sperm count, sperm quality, fertility potential or treatment options. Full details at www.fertilitybristol.com