(Pregnancy loss, fertility & men’s health awareness)
June is men’s health awareness month, so as an integrative fertility practitioner, I want to address men’s health in regards to all things fertility. This is part 1 of the series.
From 1990-2011, the risk of miscarriage increased by 1% per year among pregnant women in the United States, according to 2018 CDC study. This is the same rate at which sperm rate and overall fertility have declined in western countries.
Many women feel depression and anxiety after a miscarriage, and they can feel betrayed by their bodies, which can have a profound effect on her self-image, body image, and self-esteem.
For couples who experience recurrent miscarriages, recent research has found that men have twice the level of DNA fragmentation in their sperm and 4 times higher levels of reactive oxygen species in their semen, which can cause DNA damage to sperm, than men whose partners didn’t have a history of miscarriage. In couples with recurrent pregnancy loss, the men also had reduced sperm mobility and morphology, compared to their peers.
As semen and sperm quality go down, miscarriages go up, yet more often than not, it’s the woman who bears the brunt of the emotional distress because she the one carrying the baby. The males role in miscarriages is not acknowledged.
It’s common practice for women who have had recurrent miscarriages to be sent for reproductive assessments. Research shows that their male partners should get checked too.
info x Shanna H. Swan, PhD, author of Count Down