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Sperm Health is Linked to Pregnancy Outcomes

As researchers discover more about the science of fertility, it’s clear that the biological role of fathers extends beyond the (important!) moment of conception. Men’s prenatal health has a deep impact on the health of pregnant partners and developing babies.

Sperm health and the risk of recurrent miscarriage

In a study that compared the sperm health of men whose partners had suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages with the sperm health of men whose partners had not suffered miscarriage, Imperial College London researchers found significantly more DNA damage in the sperm of men whose partners had suffered recurrent miscarriage.

While most prior research on recurrent miscarriage has focused on health issues in the mother, lead author Dr. Channa Jayasena designed this study to focus on the influence of sperm health, explaining that “[a] growing body of evidence that suggests sperm health dictates the health of a pregnancy. For instance, previous research suggests sperm has an important role in the formation of the placenta, which is crucial for oxygen and nutrient supply to the fetus."

The analysis showed that sperm from men with partners who had suffered recurrent miscarriage contained twice as much DNA damage compared to the control group. “It has taken medicine a long time to realize sperm health has a role to play in miscarriage and that the cause doesn’t lie solely with women,” Dr. Channa Jayasena explains. “Now we realize 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.”

Sperm influences formation of the placenta

Dad’s fertility health, including sperm health, is responsible for delivering the DNA blueprint that creates a placenta which nourishes his growing baby throughout pregnancy. How cool is that?

Soon after a sperm successfully fertilizes the egg, a placenta begins to develop alongside the embryo. The placenta is a temporary organ attached to the uterine wall that connects the developing fetus and mother, delivering nutrients to the growing baby and removing waste. The placenta is crucial for mother and baby, but it might come as a surprise that it is the father’s DNA, carried by sperm, that contains the blueprint for the creation of the placenta.

A 2013 study from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine confirmed past research which revealed the role of mom’s DNA in spurring embryonic development, and dad’s DNA in growing a healthy placenta. Lead author Dr. Xu Wang explains these essential roles: “Mouse experiments showed that if all DNA comes from the mother, only the embryo grows, suggesting some degree of sex-based division of labor between programming the placenta and the embryo. Our results confirm what these past findings hinted at,” highlighting the essential role that male sperm have in carrying blueprints for healthy placental creation.

It turns out that pregnancy is a true co-creation by mom and dad! But when men’s fertility health declines, oxidative damage to sperm DNA can result in poor semen quality and male infertility. This lowers the chance of chances of conception, of course, but DNA damage in sperm can also impact the health of a pregnancy through its influence over placental formation and even the viability of the pregnancy.

Additional Resources

The summer heat really can have a temporary effect on male fertility, so doing what you can to keep cool, especially if the goal is becoming a dad, is really important. Here are tips to keep you and the boys cool this summer.

Read More

If you’re no stranger to the telltale signs of seasonal allergies—sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, the works—you’re likely familiar with antihistamines. When you’re actively trying to conceive, there’s more to understand about histamines, seasonal allergies and how it affects your fertility.

Read More

When the plan is a baby, but you’re having a hard time conceiving, it’s normal to start wondering why. While there can be a number of issues in play, one tends to be overlooked: sleep quality. Specifically, men who have the sleep disorder sleep apnea could be at greater risk of fertility issues. Now, new research is drawing a more definitive link between sleep apnea and male fertility. Let’s review.

Read More

Fact: You can’t look at a guy—or eyeball his semen sample, for that matter—and determine his fertility. It just doesn’t work that way. The only way to truly assess sperm health is with a semen analysis. But there are a few lifestyle choices and truths that may indicate whether a man’s sperm is healthy and happy. 

Read More

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Read More

There’s a lot of chatter when it comes to male masturbation and what it says about a man’s fertility or whether it’s an issue when a couple is actively trying to conceive. And in the interest of clearing up the confusion, we’re taking a facts-based approach to the topic of men, masturbation and fertility.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

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Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

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Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

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Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

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Read More

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Read More

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Read More

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Read More

The summer heat really can have a temporary effect on male fertility, so doing what you can to keep cool, especially if the goal is becoming a dad, is really important. Here are tips to keep you and the boys cool this summer.

Read More

If you’re no stranger to the telltale signs of seasonal allergies—sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, irritated eyes, the works—you’re likely familiar with antihistamines. When you’re actively trying to conceive, there’s more to understand about histamines, seasonal allergies and how it affects your fertility.

Read More

When the plan is a baby, but you’re having a hard time conceiving, it’s normal to start wondering why. While there can be a number of issues in play, one tends to be overlooked: sleep quality. Specifically, men who have the sleep disorder sleep apnea could be at greater risk of fertility issues. Now, new research is drawing a more definitive link between sleep apnea and male fertility. Let’s review.

Read More

Fact: You can’t look at a guy—or eyeball his semen sample, for that matter—and determine his fertility. It just doesn’t work that way. The only way to truly assess sperm health is with a semen analysis. But there are a few lifestyle choices and truths that may indicate whether a man’s sperm is healthy and happy. 

Read More

While it’s lumped into the “bodily fluid” category, semen is a complex cocktail of compounds designed to support fertility. Like sperm quality, semen health can be influenced by lifestyle factors—an important realization for couples trying to conceive. From color to consistency, here’s what healthy semen looks like.

Read More

There’s a lot of chatter when it comes to male masturbation and what it says about a man’s fertility or whether it’s an issue when a couple is actively trying to conceive. And in the interest of clearing up the confusion, we’re taking a facts-based approach to the topic of men, masturbation and fertility.

Read More

For many of us, our twenties and even thirties are a time when the focus is on pregnancy prevention. And that’s okay! But even when the idea of motherhood is miles away there is tremendous value in understanding your fertility health and what you can do to support it during these young, carefree days.

Read More

Raise your hand if you already know that you have a biological clock. From age 35 and beyond, there is a natural decline in testosterone and sperm quality. Just as people lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance with age, sperm also tend to lose their "fitness" over the life cycle. But what does that mean—and does it really matter?

Read More

It’s an easy assumption, but you’re much better off thinking that every prenatal vitamin is wildly different in terms of composition, nutrient quality and, importantly, nutrient amount. Not only is that actually true, it puts you in the smart consumer mindset of understanding what matters in a prenatal vitamin—and why.

Read More

Men really do benefit from specialized nutrition in the form of a prenatal vitamin that’s formulated to support sperm health. Here’s what that looks like, and how specific nutrients can impact a man’s fertility health before fatherhood.

Read More

Shilajit is finally getting the credit it’s due, and we’re proud to point out that our proprietary formula was the very first to include this powerful Ayurvedic compound. Here’s why shilajit is rapidly becoming the darling of the male fertility world–and what you’re missing if you’re skipping it.

Read More

Ever wondered why men produce so much darn sperm, especially if only one of them will ultimately fertilize the egg? There are millions of sperm in normal ejaculate because it increases the likelihood that one will reach the egg and seal the deal. It begs the question, what exactly happens on the journey to the egg?

Read More

Just as women’s bodies need to be prepared for pregnancy, men’s bodies need to be ready to contribute healthy sperm for conception. Nutrients are the foundation that support the normal structure and function of sperm and men's fertility health. Taking Beli’s male prenatal supplement is a proactive way to strategically fuel your body to optimize fertility contributing to your overall chances of conceiving and supporting a healthy pregnancy.  

Read More

Diet has been suggested to have an influence on the quality and function of human sperm. More specifically, the results of a randomised trial have shown that including nuts as a component of a regular diet improved the quality and function of human sperm.

Read More

A shot to the balls may be played for laughs on screen, but testicular impacts really aren’t a joke. Worse case scenario, getting hit in the balls can affect fertility thanks to complications like sexual dysfunction, low testosterone and other issues. Let's discuss.

Read More

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

When it comes to becoming parents, good habits really will take you where you want to go. Now, new science is giving us insight into exactly how long it takes to form those good habits. We're breaking down all the ways you can build healthy habits to boost your chances of conception. Think of it as life-hacking, but for grown-ups.

Read More

Here at Beli, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the important role men play in the baby-making equation, which brings us to today’s topic of men’s preconception health and specifically, sperm health. Knowing what you’re working with can save you a lot of time, but is at-home sperm testing considered an important part of men’s preconception health? Let’s break it down.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More