New test explains unknown cause of infertility


New research has provided an explanation for the unexplained infertility that many couples experience. Of the 30% of infertile couples who have an “unexplained infertility” diagnosis, as many as 80% may have a known cause called high sperm DNA damage.

A better diagnosis leads to better treatment

“The majority of couplers experiencing problems with fertility are able to receive an explanation for their infertility. These causes range from low sperm count, poor sperm motility in the man to blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis in the women. Once the causes for infertility have been established the appropriate course of assisted conception treatment can be undertaken,” Professor Sheena Lewis, School of Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, explained. “For almost one third of couples, until now, there has been no obvious cause for infertility and these couples are given the diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’. These couples often invest a lot of time and money in fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI) unlikely to be successful.”

Saving time, money and emotional energy

Now that the source of many cases of mysterious infertility has been identified, suitable treatments can be provided for them which will increase their chance of having a baby. Many couples without an explanation for their infertility will try anything. Now that the high sperm DNA damage has been identified, more specific strategies can be developed, saving time, money and emotional investment.

SpermComet™ test identifies damaged sperm

At Queen’s College, they have developed a test called the SpermComet™ which can identify damaged DNA in individual sperm. The test can predict the success of infertility treatments and guide couples to the treatment with the highest degree of probable success.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Queen’s University Belfast


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