It is estimated that approximately 15% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some couples may experience multiple miscarriages (2 or more), which is called recurrent miscarriage or recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Before receiving a recurrent miscarriage treatment, it’s important to recognize that male factor infertility may be contributing to lost pregnancies.
How our Knowledge on Recurring Miscarriages Has Changed
Our scientific understanding of miscarriages has evolved drastically over time. In the past, the female partner’s fertility status would be scrutinized following a miscarriage and the male partner’s role would rarely be evaluated or considered. However, we know today that fertility is complex, and infertility affects both females and males equally.
Thanks to clinical research from reproductive urologists, we now know that miscarriages can be caused by an array of factors, such as:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Uterine anomalies
- Immune system disorders
- And sperm health/quality
Can Male Fertility Contribute to Recurrent Pregnancy Loss?
Yes. It is possible that male infertility factors can contribute to recurring miscarriages. Let’s touch on a few of those factors here.
The DNA inside sperm cells can become damaged for any number of reasons (e.g., environmental toxins, illness, etc.). When DNA fragmentation occurs, this can create complications for pregnancies.
In fact, one study of couples who experienced multiple miscarriages found that the sperm involved was more likely to have signs of DNA fragmentation.
One of the leading causes of miscarriage is chromosome problems. In fact, roughly three out of four miscarriages occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, and in most of those cases, the problem can be traced to chromosomes.
Research over the past decade has suggested that abnormal chromosomes in sperm contribute to recurrent miscarriages.
Similar to how women need to make smart decisions while pregnant, men must make wise decisions during their trying to conceive (TTC) journey. Research suggests that the male partner’s lifestyle choices can affect sperm quality and, in turn, contribute to recurring miscarriages.
Things like smoking, drug or alcohol use, nutrition, and exercise can all affect sperm health. If you smoke excessively and do not exercise, you may be negatively affecting your sperm quality.
It’s important to note that fewer than half of all miscarriages in the U.S. have an identifiable cause (ASRM). And in many cases of miscarriage, there are several contributing factors. That means it’s important for both the female and male partner to do their part to improve their fertility statuses.
The Truth About Recurrent Miscarriage Treatments for Men
To identify potential causes of recurrent pregnancy loss, it’s important to understand and evaluate the fertility status of both partners. A good place for males to start is with a semen analysis. That assessment will provide a good baseline of your semen parameters and highlight any abnormal results (e.g., low sperm count, low sperm motility, etc.). But that’s not all, guidelines suggest all couples with recurrent pregnancy loss or miscarriage have the male evaluated including a thorough history and physical exam as well as testing such as a karyotype and DNA Fragmentation, even if the semen analysis is normal.
It is possible to treat infertility in males. There are a variety of treatment options available today that can drastically improve your fertility status. If there are no applicable treatments for your needs, then you still have options to overcome many sperm issues.
Treating the causes of your recurrent miscarriages won’t always be easy. But when you explore treatment options together, you can gain the confidence that you’re making the right choices for your family’s future.
Explore Options for Recurrent Miscarriage Treatments for Males
At Posterity Health, we offer consultations for couples experiencing RPL that closely examine the fertility of the male partner. This investigative service will dive into the details of your health history, assess the current condition of your semen, and develop a customized treatment plan for you. With our support, you’ll gain the assurance that you’re making the right moves to overcome recurrent miscarriages.
Contact Posterity Health today to learn more about our RPL consultation service.