We had our focus on new knowledge in measuring sperm quality in terms of pregnancy rate. This new information derives from studies of sperm cells from infertile men.
A number of commercial kits have been developed to measure oxidative stress (sORP) or DNA fragmentation in sperm cells. The sORP level is higher in infertile men than in fertile men.
The fertile men are defined by standard criteria for normal sperm quality. In the group of infertile men, almost everyone had a lower sperm quality according to the standard criteria.
The studies indicate that the sORP level in sperm cells influences male fertility. There is a direct link between normal sperm quality and the sORP level, as the group of fertile men has a much lower sORP level than the infertile men.
Since we as a sperm bank only accept donors with a higher-than-normal sperm quality, measurement of sORP or DNA fragmentation is not relevant. However, we think this area is very interesting and we would like to contribute with additional knowledge of male fertility.
You can learn about sperm quality and how it is measured here.
Another relevant aspect for sperm banks is the screening of sperm donors for genetic diseases. The conference included a lecture about confirmed genetic or suspected genetic diseases in donor children. The conclusion was that it is not possible to screen sperm donors for the thousands of different genetic diseases we know, but that thorough information for women about risks before they embark on fertility treatment is crucial.
We agree that the information for women is very important, and we at European Sperm Bank will work to optimise the genetic screening of our donors along with our counselling for women in order to ensure the best donor choice.
ESHRE is the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. They work to promote a better understanding of reproductive biology and embryology, to facilitate research and to inform politicians and policy makers in Europe.
//posted by Susanne Timshel, Medical Director and genetic specialist at European Sperm Bank
As usual, our spermbike got a lot of attention at the conference. This year, the bike has had an adorable little sister.
Many visitors got some great pictures of themselves on the bikes, and were even kind enough to share in instagram with #spermbike