Studies suggest that poor sperm quality can lead to multiple pregnancy losses

Contrary to popular belief, female infertility is not the only factor that acts as the cause of multiple miscarriages. This is especially true after a new study released this year has once again linked poor sperm quality to pregnancy losses.

The results of research conducted by scientists at Imperial College London have shown that the sperm of men whose partners had suffered three or more consecutive pregnancy losses had higher levels of DNA damage. The damage is triggered by a high concentration of reactive oxygen species, which protect the sperm from bacteria and infection, the report has added.

Dr Francisco Ruiz, Medical Director, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic, Muscat, said, “I am familiar with this study and believe that the study and some previous research works performed over the past years have, in effect, helped widen the areas where doctors can look into when trying to establish the reasons behind the recurrent miscarriages. When before, we tend to investigate women-related health issues alone, today, we are now covering the male factors as well. This way, we can better reduce the risks and provide a more effective treatment method and management approach.”

As per the experts’ estimation, one in four women in Oman could suffer a miscarriage in her life. Dr Ruiz said a single miscarriage usually does not indicate any underlying fertility problem and couples may eventually have a successful pregnancy. However, more tests are recommended after a third miscarriage to get to the root of the problem. Normally, doctors suggest checking for chromosomal abnormalities, which can be found in both the egg and the sperm.

For couples who are undergoing the in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) process and have had a history of repeated pregnancy losses, Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is conducted to diagnose genetic and chromosomal alterations in embryos before they are implanted in the uterus. Used in conjunction with IVF treatment with sperm microinjection (ICSI), the PGT technique can also be utilised to ensure that children are born free of hereditary diseases.

Another one is FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridisation) technique. This is recommended to couples who have suffered repeated miscarriages and who have not had any success with assisted reproduction due to a male factor anomaly.

Dr. Ruiz concluded: “We still cannot ascertain the full impact of poor sperm quality in terms of miscarriages. Similar to other fertility issues, we always recommend that couples consult a fertility expert to know how best to proceed given their condition and help them give birth to a healthy, normal baby.”

IVI Fertility is the global leader in fertility treatments and runs state-of-the-art clinics in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE and Muscat in Oman. The clinics are renowned for global quality of services and register the highest success rate of over 70% in the region.

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