Sperm.

There, we’ve said it.

When it comes to sperm, not talking about it can mean that many couples having difficulty trying for a baby may be missing out on knowing about something that could improve their chances of having a baby. Something that could help reduce the loss of valuable time and financial costs and, not least, emotional heartache, which can be hardest of all.

So, what is it that we want to say about sperm?

We’re probably all familiar with the term ‘sperm count’, which deals with the quantity of sperm. However, what most of us know less about is the quality of sperm.

Sperm DNA is one of the most important factors when it comes to having a baby.

Sperm quality can be affected by things like stress, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, obesity and other avoidable lifestyle factors. Even healthy sperm have some DNA damage, but it’s the amount of damage that matters.

For couples trying for a baby, when it comes to sperm quality, conventional semen analysis tells us just a little.

The SpermComet® is a much more sensitive test that can measure DNA damage in a single sperm.

Why is this so important?

DNA damage is often a factor when couples have been trying for a baby for some time without success and where there is no obvious explanation why. It can also be a major factor where couples have been successful in conceiving, but have suffered a number of miscarriages.

The important thing for men is to find out what their sperm quality is like. If we find there is a lot of sperm DNA damage, we can help couples make better choices about the right lifestyle choices and the best fertility treatment for them.

For example, with moderate damage, IVF might be the best treatment to try first. If the damage is higher, the best chance of success might be going straight to ICSI treatment.

So, if you’ve already been trying for a baby, or are even just starting thinking about it, don’t keep mum about sperm.