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DNA Fragmentation in Sperm Tied to Repeat Pregnancy Loss

Poor motility also seen in sperm from men whose partners have recurrent pregnancy loss

FRIDAY, Oct. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Sperm from men whose partners have a history of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) have increased DNA fragmentation and poor motility compared with sperm from men whose partners had recent term pregnancies, according to a study published in the October issue of Urology.

Sonia Brahem, M.D., from the University Teaching Hospital in Sousse, Tunisia, and colleagues evaluated and compared standard sperm parameters, and sperm DNA fragmentation in seminal ejaculates from 31 men whose partners had a history of RPL, and 20 men who had recently established their fertility (control group, partners had recent term pregnancies). World Health Organization guidelines were used to analyze the semen samples. A terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling assay was used to detect sperm DNA fragmentation.

The investigators identified a significant difference in sperm motility when comparing sperm quality of the control group versus the RPL group. No differences were seen in other sperm parameters. Compared to the control group, a significant increase in the mean number of sperm cells with fragmented DNA was found in the RPL group (32.22 ± 6.14 versus 10.20 ± 2.1 percent).

"Sperm from men with a history of RPL have a higher incidence of DNA damage and poor motility than sperm from a control group, and this can explain in part the pregnancy loss in these patients," the authors write.

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