Date: 07 January 2019
Multiple miscarriage may be linked to the level of DNA damage in a man’s sperm, suggests research supported by the NIHR.
The early-stage study supported by the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre investigated the sperm quality of 50 men whose partners had suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages.
The research, published in the journal Clinical Chemistry, revealed that the sperm of men with partners who had suffered recurrent miscarriage had twice as much DNA damage than the sperm from control men whose partners had not experienced miscarriages.
The study team hope these new findings may open new avenues to finding treatments to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Recurrent miscarriage affects around one in 50 couples in the UK. Until recently, recurrent miscarriage was thought to be caused by health issues with the mother, such as infection or immune problems.
However, doctors are now realising sperm health may also play a role. Lead author Dr Channa Jayasena, from Imperial’s Department of Medicine, said: “Traditionally doctors have focused attention on women when looking for the causes of recurrent miscarriage. The men’s health - and the health of their sperm, wasn’t analysed.
“Now we realise both partners contribute to recurrent miscarriage, we can hopefully get a clearer picture of the problem and start to look for ways of ensuring more pregnancies result in a healthy baby.”
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