Testing Men for This Condition May Help Couples Prevent Miscarriages

This could help partners with recurrent miscarriages to conceive.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
January 3, 2019
couple sitting on bed together reading a book with their puppy
Image: Sarah Sharp

A first-of-its-kind study published in AACC’s Clinical Chemistry journal found male partners of women who faced recurrent miscarriages have lower sperm quality due to low hormone production and high oxidant levels. The findings were revealed in a press release, and suggest this information could help some couples prevent miscarriages by testing treatments to improve men’s reproductive health.

Researches compared reproductive qualities between 50 men with partners who had experienced recurrent miscarriages to 63 healthy men. The team found testosterone and estradiol levels—which play essential roles in sperm development—were about 15 to 16 percent lower in the recurrent pregnancy loss group. Additionally, that group also had reduced sperm motility and abnormal sperm morphology.

In addition, researchers found the men in the recurrent pregnancy loss group had twice as high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation and four times as high levels of oxidants. These results are significant because sperm DNA plays a critical role in the formation of the placenta, and the findings support previous studies which have accounted oxidative stress as a cause of sperm DNA fragmentation.

The results are major for couples struggling to conceive, because they indicate that the recurrent pregnancy loss could be better prevented if male partners are tested and treated for low reproductive hormone levels and high oxidant levels.

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