SpermComet - GPFed

Patient Information

The human desire to have children is at heart of our

being. If couples find it hard to get pregnant, it can be one of

the most distressing times of their lives

We offer unique testing for male fertility

Thank you for your interest in the SpermComet® Test.

Since IVF began in 1978, we have looked at women’s fertility from every angle but neglected

the man. Now, Lewis Fertility Testing Ltd has changed all that with our state-of- the- art testing

for male infertility. This sperm DNA fragmentation test has a dual role.

- It provides a more accurate diagnosis of male infertility than a semen analysis.

- It also helps to guide you to the best form of infertility treatment; saving you biological

time, money and heartache.

Please find enclosed some useful information regarding making an appointment and

information about the test and the results.

If you should have any enquiries regarding the test or your results, please do not hesitate to

contact us at;

Email: lab@lewisfertilitytesting.com

Telephone: (+44) 028 90 238915

With kind regards,

Sheena E M Lewis

CEO, Lewis Fertility Testing Ltd

Sperm DNA damage and why it is important for Your treatment

You and your partner are each going to give some of your DNA to your baby, so the health of

your DNA can impact on the health of your baby.

What is sperm DNA damage?

Research has shown that one of the reasons for increasing infertility around Europe is that

sperm quality has deteriorated. There are many reasons for this, such as smoking, poor diet

and environmental pollutants. All of these produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that can

damage the DNA of your sperm.

Sperm DNA damage can lead to;

Fewer eggs being fertilized

 Embryos not developing as well as they should

Lower pregnancy rates


What if the semen analysis is normal? Do we need to have sperm DNA damage as well?

Recent research shows that there is little correlation between a traditional semen analysis

results and the amount of DNA damage in your sperm. So even if your sperm counts are

normal, you may have DNA damage in your sperm. This means that just because a man has a

normal semen analysis, he may not be able to get his partner pregnant.

Sperm DNA testing can guide you to a diagnosis and give you more information for your

treatment choices.

What do sperm DNA damage results mean?

If there is less than 25% damage: You do not have a significant problem with sperm DNA


If there is more than 25% damage: You have a higher risk of infertility and so are less likely

to get your partner pregnant naturally. Also, IUI will be unlikely to work for you two.

If there is between 26-49% damage: You have a high chance of success with IVF.

If there is over 50% damage: You have a high risk of failure with IVF treatment. If treatment

is planned, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is more likely to be successful than IVF.

If there is over 50% damage and you have had failed ICSI treatment already: If you fall into

this group, you may wish to talk to your fertility specialist about ICSI with surgically retrieved

sperm. Unfortunately, this is an invasive procedure but it may give you a better success rate.

If ICSI has failed with ejaculated sperm and you do not wish to have sperm retrieved surgically,

the only alternative is donor sperm.

Risks to your sperm health

There are many factors in your life than can cause damage to your sperm DNA

Do you smoke?

One of the big problems with smoking is that it produces ‘free radicals’ and these can harm

your body and your sperm. Tobacco contains over 4,000 toxins.

Do you drink too much alcohol?

Drinking more than 1 pint of beer or 1 large glass of wine a day increases your risk of

infertility, as well as cancers, strokes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and liver disease

Do you have a healthy diet?

How many take-away meals do you have a week? How many home meals do you eat? Poor nutrition weakens sperm.

Are you stressed?

Do you feel depressed? Always tired? Difficulty sleeping? Angry? Stress can trigger a range

of illnesses and may be associated with infertility.

Are you over weight?

Excess weight can lead to poor sperm quality and male infertility.

Do you take dietary supplements?

Unless you have oxidative stress or low levels of antioxidants, supplements can do harm as

well as good. Always test first before you start taking tablets.

Making an appointment

To make an appointment for a Spermcomet test, please contact your family doctor. They will

arrange an appointment for you to attend Farrier House to produce a semen sample.


Before arrival

Before attendance please read the following information:

- Please abstain from any sexual contact for no less than 2 days and no

more than 7 days. Failure to do so may affect your SpermComet ® results.

- Please also familiarise yourself with the sample collection protocol listed


Sample Collection Protocol for SpermComet® Test

1. Pass urine before producing your sample.

2. Wash your hands and penis with soap to avoid contamination.

3. Rinse away the soap and dry hands and penis with a fresh disposable

paper towel.

4. Unscrew the lid of the sample container.

5. Ejaculate the whole sample into the container provided and report any

loss of sample.

6. Secure the lid on the sample container and return to clinic staff.

Getting your results

Your semen sample will be sent to our lab for testing. We will send the results back to

your Family Doctor within 7 days of receipt of the sample. Please contact them

for your results.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am going for semen analysis, do I need the sperm comet too?

Yes, even if your sperm counts are normal you may have too much DNA damage in your

sperm and this can mean you may not be able to get your partner pregnant. The first test

for men with fertility problems is a semen analysis and this is a good starting point but it

doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about your sperm. The SpermComet ® can

predict how well you will do with different types of fertility treatment – something you miss

out on with standard semen analysis.

We have unexplained infertility. Can the test help us?

Yes. We have just published a recent study (Simon, Proutski, 2013) showing that 40% of

couples who were previously diagnosed as ‘unexplained’ have sperm DNA damage. Knowing

this can alter your treatment plan and give you better options.

How long should I abstain from sexual activity before producing my sample?

It is advised that you should abstain from sexual activity for more than two but less than five


Can I produce my sample at home?

Sample production can be done at home if you live within 1 hour of your clinic. It is

important that samples must be kept at body temperature during transportation and this

can be done by keeping it in your pockets or close to your chest.

We have had a miscarriage. Can the test help us?

Yes. We, along with other leading groups, have just reviewed all the scientific studies and

found that sperm DNA damage is closely linked to miscarriage (Robinson 2012). This test

may give you a reason for this sad happening and new choices to have your much longed for


My husband has had chemotherapy. Will the test help him?

Yes. Chemotherapy is also linked with sperm DNA damage that decreases with time. You

may want to know if your husband’s sperm are back to normal before you try for a family.

What happens after I get my results?

Lifestyle changes such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, recreational drugs and

unhealthy diets can all contribute to fertility problems. When you receive your results you

will be advised on what your percentage damage means and how changes can be made to

your lifestyle and fertility treatments in order to improve your chances of conceiving.

My partner and I already lead healthy lifestyles can the test help us?

Certainly – some sports, such as cycling, can actually cause Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)

leading to difficulty in conceiving. The SpermComet® test will help you get a snap shop of

your current fertility health.

Tel: +44(0) 28 9023 8915 Email: info@spermcomet.com

For more information please visit

http://www.spermcomet.com /


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