Fertility scientists have developed a new test that could help identify DNA-damaged sperm in cases of male infertility.
The new ‘SpermComet’ test closely analyses the genetic material of the sperm, so if there is DNA damage to the sperm couples can be advised of the best treatment that will most likely result in pregnancy.
Here at Manchester Fertility, around a third of all cases we treat are due to issues with the male partner – whether it’s because of low sperm count, poor sperm quality, motility or simply not producing any viable sperm at all.
There is a need to do more research into male infertility, but we’ve come a long way since IVF was in its infancy. There are now many treatments available at Manchester Fertility if you’ve been diagnosed with male fertility issues.
These include intrauterine insemination, where good quality sperm is inserted directly into the uterus so it’s closer to the egg and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where a single healthy and good quality sperm is directly injected into an egg. There is also surgical sperm extraction, where we can collect sperm from male patients who have no sperm in their sample, caused through problems such as blockages in the tubes, or low number of sperm being produced in the testicles themselves.
In terms of the new test, scientists believe that by identifying if a man has ‘faulty’ DNA-damaged sperm, treatment can be better selected saving time and money for those trying to have a baby. If a man’s sperm is severely affected, more complex treatments can be recommended such as IVF or IVF in conjunction with ICSI, rather than intrauterine insemination.
However, the test cannot ‘fix’ the faulty sperm, it can only merely identify it. But any way of further analysing the causes of male infertility is good news. The more we can understand the causes, the more help we can give to those affected.
If you’re worried about male fertility, then visit your GP. They will conduct a series of tests to determine what the problem may be. You can then request a referral to Manchester Fertility.
Last updated: 20th January 2020