New research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) suggests that multiple miscarriages could be possibly linked to DNA damage in the male sperm.
Researchers at the Imperial College London assessed the sperm quality of 50 men whose partners had experienced ≥3 consecutive miscarriages.
The findings published in the journal Clinical Chemistry showed that the DNA damage in the sperm of men whose partners had gone through recurrent miscarriages was twice as much as that in the sperm of men whose partners did not have miscarriages.
Nearly 1 in 50 British couples experience recurrent miscarriages. Physicians traditionally focussed attention only on women when investigating recurrent miscarriages, because until now only maternal health issues such as infection or immune problems were believed to cause them. The health of male partners and their sperm were not assessed.
Lead author Dr Channa Jayasena said: "Now we realise both partners contribute to recurrent miscarriage, we can hopefully get a clearer picture of the problem and start to look for ways of ensuring more pregnancies result in a healthy baby." Researchers hope that these early-stage findings could pave the way for developing treatments to reduce the risk for miscarriage.