A study at the start of the study, by researchers at Royal College London, examines the quality of the sperm of 50 men whose partners have suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages.
The survey, published in the journal Clinical chemistry, found that, compared to men whose partners did not experience spontaneous abortion, the sperm of those involved in the study had a higher level of DNA damage.
The study team hopes that these findings can open up new opportunities for finding treatments to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Recurrent spontaneous abortion affects about one in 50 couples in the UK and is defined as a subsequent loss of three more pregnancies before the 20th gestation.
Until recently, repeated spontaneous abortion is thought to be caused by maternal health problems, such as infection or immune problems.
However, doctors now realize that sperm health can also play a role, explains Dr. Channa Yayasena, lead author of the Imperial Medicine Research Department: "Traditionally doctors have focused attention on women when looking for the causes of repeated spontaneous abortion the health and health of their spermatozoa – have not been analyzed.
"However, this research adds a growing number of evidence suggesting that sperm health dictates the health of pregnancy. For example, previous studies have shown that sperm plays an important role in the formation of the placenta, which is essential for the supply of oxygen and nutrients fetus. "
In the new research, the team analyzed the sperm from 50 men who were patients at the Clinic for recurrent unnecessary diseases at the St. Mary in London, part of the Imperial College of Health NHS Trust.
They then compared results with sperm health to 60 male volunteers whose partners were not affected by miscarriage.
The analysis showed that sperm in men with partners who underwent recurrent abortion had twice as much damage to DNA compared to the control group.
The research team suggests that this DNA damage can be caused by the so-called. reactive types of oxygen.
There are molecules formed from sperm cells (a sperm-containing fluid) to protect the sperm from bacteria and infections. However, in high enough concentrations, molecules can cause significant damage to the sperm.
The results of the study showed that sperm from men whose partners suffered spontaneous abortion had a fourfold increase in the amount of reactive oxygen species compared with the control group.
The research team is now investigating what can cause high levels of these reactive oxygen types.
Dr. Yayasena explained: "Although none of the men in the trial had any current infection such as chlamydia – which we know could affect sperm health – there may be other bacteria from previous infections that are retained in the prostate , which makes sperm This can lead to a permanently high level of reactive oxygen species. "
He added that there is increased evidence that overweight can reduce sperm health – probably because high levels of body fat can cause an increase in reactive oxygen species. That's why the team analyzes the metabolic health of the 50 men in the study and assesses the weight and level of cholesterol.
Men whose partners had a spontaneous abortion were also slightly older than the control group – with an average age of 37 years compared to 30 years of age, and were slightly overweight. The team is now investigating whether these factors can affect levels of reactive oxygen species.
Dr. Yayasena concluded: "Although this is a small study, it gives us traces to follow. If we confirm in the further work that high levels of reactive oxygen species in sperm increase the risk of spontaneous abortion, we might try to develop treatments which reduce these levels and increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.
"For a long time, medicine was taken to realize that sperm health plays a role in miscarriage – and that the reason lies not only on women. Now we realize that both partners contribute to a repeat abortion, we can hope to get a clearer picture of the problem and start looking for ways to provide more pregnancies results in a healthy baby. "
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