Male test for infertility detects epigenetic changes linked to smoking, obesity

flow spermatozoa

Traditional sperm tests don’t reveal much. They can assess how many sperm a man produces, whether sperm are misshapen, and how well they swim. But that’s about it.

Determined to extract more data, several startups are developing next-generation tests that they hope will help men better understand their fertility. The goal: to explain why some men who have normal sperm counts still cannot conceive.

One such test, marketed as Seed,…works by analyzing 480,000 regions of the epigenome….

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The Seed test, like others now in development, will help a man understand why he’s infertile even if his sperm looks normal under a microscope. But while doctors may advise those men to lose weight or stop smoking in an effort to improve their epigenetic profile, there’s no treatment yet.

That means, often, the test results will be most useful in driving home that the infertility is real. That knowledge could spur couples to consider sperm donors or adoption, instead of investing tens of thousands of dollars…in cycle after cycle of in vitro fertilization.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Sperm test 2.0: New diagnostics aim to better understand male infertility

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