In the past 10 to 15 years, research has clearly shown that reduced fertility in men is often a marker of an underlying health problem (Jensen et al. 2009).
But this correlation is not so clear when just the normal quality of the sperm is assessed. However, checking the health of men with reduced fertility for 10 – 20 years shows that it increases the risk of developing a serious illness in the future by approximately 2 – 3 times. This includes a wide range of diseases, but especially diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer.
DNA damage in the body’s cells
Fragile DNA in the sperm cells may be due to increased instability of the DNA in all the cells of the body. This became clear in 2012, when a German research group published a study in which they analyzed blood and sperm samples from a group of men (Baumgartner et al. 2012).
When the DNA in the cells of the body is unstable, it is more likely to break. Unlike sperm cells, the body’s cells can repair damage to the DNA. However, sometimes, errors occur during the repair, which may result in a change to the DNA code, which is also called a mutation. Such mutations can cause the cell to die. Cell death is involved in diseases such as osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease.
However, the mutation may also affect the genes that control the cell’s growth and division causing the cell to divide uncontrollably, which is what we call cancer. Whether the cancer develops in the intestine, stomach or brain is down to chance.
Better health and fertility
But it is possible to do something about the situation before a troubling disease develops as damage to the DNA in the sperm cells can be seen as an opportunity for the man to make an effort and improve his fertility and health at the same time! (Belladelli et al. 2023).
Fortunately, the man can usually improve his fertility very rapidly because it only takes 3 months to produce completely new sperm. In our experience, most men are motivated – they just need to know what to do.
In order to achieve the best results, it is important that all factors that have contributed to reduced fertility are considered, which is why we ask the man to complete SPZ Lab’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ).