Epigenetics Gives Me a Better Chance of Having a Baby?
Sperm are important because they transport the father’s DNA to start the process of having a baby. DNA is organized into genes which control everything in our body, including fertility.
Epigenetics is the study of the “on” and “off” switches for genes. As we’re learning, key epigenetic markers correlate with higher chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby. Some conditions such as obesity, advanced paternal age, diet and lifestyle choices can cause negative epigenetic changes in sperm genes leading to infertility.
Sperm Scan is one of the first generation of epigenetic tests now available. The test was developed based on a landmark study that analyzed sperm from men using egg donation to create embryos. In that study, men who produced a high number of viable embryos were found to have different epigenetic profiles than men who produced a low number of viable embryos.
The live birth rate was 92% in the men who produced a high number of embryos compared to only 22% in the men producing a low number of embryos.
This study, soon to be published, helped identify epigenetic markers that were subsequently validated in 100 men and used to create the Sperm Scan epigenetic test.
And some more encouraging news is that men who are found to have a less-than-optimal epigenetic test may be able to improve their sperm in just a matter of a few months through diet, vitamin supplementation, exercise and lifestyle choices.