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Great news, ladies: there is finally more evidence to suggest menfolk contribute more to the baby making process than the ways we were taught in our sex education classes. While men’s contribution to a pregnancy was generally only acknowledged when it went well, for so long (and rather unfairly) the burden of ‘responsibility’ for an unsuccessful pregnancy and, in particular, recurrent miscarriages, lay at the feet of women.
Recurrent miscarriage, a painful condition for all involved, is defined as the consecutive loss of three or more pregnancies before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Anyone who has experienced the pain of one miscarriage, will know that one miscarriage is one too many. Recurrent miscarriage has the potential to inflict deep psychological trauma and without adequate investigation and support, render some couples without the family they so desperately desire.
Affecting 1-2% of women, we are still unclear as to the cause of recurrent miscarriage in most cases. There are some factors that we know increases the risk – advanced maternal age (medical speak for “older mothers”), maternal conditions including diabetes and thyroid disease, uterine anomalies and thrombotic disorders. Notice a strange absence however? In trying to discover the cause of recurrent miscarriage, women shouldered the brunt of investigations and ultimately, the need for “fixing”. The contribution of the male partner to this aching problem? Curiously absent.
However, a new study adds to the small but growing evidence that men and their sperm have a greater contribution to the miscarriage story than previously considered, with a team from Imperial College London finding the quality of sperm may be a factor in recurrent miscarriage. The study indicated that men who had experienced recurrent miscarriage with their partners were more likely to produce sperm with damaged DNA compared with men whose partners had not experienced recurrent marriage.
This finding was…