There has been a 21% increase in the number of same-sex couples and single men having fertility treatment since 2003 (Grover et al, 2013). In the UK, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act finally received Royal Assent and became law on 17 July 2013. This has opened the door for many more same sex couples to seek fertility treatment with surrogacy. (Greenfeld et al, 2016)
But for same-sex male couples there is a conundrum. Two men have two sources of sperm. Whose sperm will they use in their fertility treatment?
The Sperm Decision – whose should be used to father your child?
There are several ways to decide.
The simplest way is just to toss a coin. The partner who wins provides the sperm. However, that seems a bit too un-scientific for such a weighty decision. And isn’t it better to have the ‘best’ sperm selected?
Another way is for both partners to produce a semen sample and have sperm from each man added to the test tube and let the egg decide. This prevents the couple having to make the extremely difficult decision of who will be the biological Dad. But, to some extent, that choice is left to chance.
The third possibility is to choose, on a rational basis, that one partner will provide the sperm. The better choice is to choose the partner who has the best sperm. The health of the child is highly dependent on the health of the sperm that fathered him or her. But how is the health of the sperm determined?
The SpermComet test assesses the DNA quality of the sperm. Over the past decade, research has been focusing on better tests for the man. More important than the number of sperm in a man’s ejaculate or the speed they swim at, is the DNA quality of sperm. After all, DNA is what you are passing on to your child. It is going to give your genetic make-up to your son or daughter. Numerous studies show that sperm DNA damage testing is better for male fertility diagnosis AND for predicting successful treatment. Good quality sperm DNA is required for EVERY fertility checkpoint and is essential to produce a healthy baby. With sperm DNA testing, bespoke advice can be given on the type of fertility treatment most likely to work for you as a couple.
With this knowledge you will know about the quality of both your sperm. If either of you have sperm DNA damage you can take time to make lifestyle changes that may help improve sperm quality and ultimately a healthy baby.