Sperm Comet test

Sperm DNA Damage

One in six couples has difficulty having a baby: in 40 per cent of these cases, the difficulty is associated with the male

Most couples trying for a baby are probably all familiar with the term ‘sperm count’, which deals with the quantity of sperm.

However, what many of us know less about is sperm quality, that is,Sperm DNA. Sperm DNA is one of the most important factors when it comes to conceiving.

This sperm quality can be seriously affected by things like stress, smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, obesity and other avoidable lifestyle factors. Even healthy sperm have some DNA damage, but it’s the amount of damage that matters.

Higher levels of Sperm DNA damage can be a factor where couples have been trying for a baby for some time without success and where there is no obvious explanation why. It can also be a major factor where couples havebeen successful conceiving but have suffered a number of miscarriages.

Testing for Sperm DNA Damage

Conventional semen analysis is an important part of fertility testing as it tells us about the number of sperm present (concentration), how well it swims (motility) and the shape and size of the sperm (morphology). However, it does not tell us anything about sperm DNA damage, which requires another type of test: a Sperm DNA Fragmentation Test.

This type of test goes beyond the semen analysis to explore the sperm at a molecular level.

The most sensitive of these tests is the SpermComet®.

The SpermComet® Test

SpermComet® measures the amount of damage in every single sperm and is so sensitive that it detects damage in 70 percent of men with normal semen analysis. This makes it really useful for couples with unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage, after a failed cycle of IVF, or if the man has previously been ill, on medication or has changed his lifestyle.

The important thing is, when we know the level of sperm DNA damage, we can help couples make better choices about the right lifestyle choices and fertility treatment for them. For example, with moderate damage, IVF might be the best treatment to try. If the damage is high, then the best chance of success might be going straight to ICSI treatment.

The SpermComet® is available at the Chesire Natural Health and results are guaranteed within seven days. For further information, please get in touch on 01925 731023

You can also learn more about the test here.


This fully scientifically referenced PDF newsletter reviews a wide range of nutritional research that supports the sometimes controversial idea that a healthy diet, often supported with effective natural food supplements when combined deliver optimum levels of key nutrients that can be demonstrated to safely support people with fertility issues, or alternatively for pre conceptual care, or during and after pregnancy, while breast feeding and into young childhood.

View full PDF

What should I eat to keep fit and healthy during pregnancy and to give my baby the best start in life?

What should I eat to keep fit and healthy during pregnancy and to give my baby the best start in life?

If you are considering having a baby, it is beneficial to prepare for pregnancy by changing your eating and drinking patterns, ideally for up to 4 months before conception. Men can also benefit from improvements in their diet and lifestyle to enable them to produce adequate numbers of good quality sperm. If a couple are having difficulties conceiving, then it is equally important to consider the overall health profile, diet and lifestyles of both partners.

If you are already pregnant, however, then you are probably conscious of wanting eat well for yourself and your baby. A mother’s diet can have a profound effect on the developing baby’s health in the womb, as well as her own health.

Foods to eat during pregnancy

Aim to eat a healthy and varied diet which includes fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, pulses, eggs (but not raw) and fish. Keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day can also be beneficial to help avoid constipation and to help flush away unnecessary toxins from the body.

A nutritional therapist can give you more detailed recommendations and advice based on your specific individual needs. Everyone is different with different health concerns, nutrient deficiencies and needs. However, the guidelines below are a good starting point for anyone who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant:

  1. Get your fruit and vegetable intake up to at least five portions, if not more, per day. Eat them as snacks, add them to cereal, put them in soups, drink fresh diluted fruit juice, try veggie sticks and humus, as well as increasing the number of vegetables that you eat with your evening meal.
  2. Eat complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and oats. Most of us eat far too many refined “white” foods which are lacking in essential nutrients and often full of saturated fat and sugar (white rice, white bread, biscuits and pastries). Any move towards some of the “brown” foods will increase your intake of important nutrients such as the energy-boosting B vitamins.
  3. Eat oily foods including oily fish such as sardines, salmon and fresh tuna, seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseeds and sesame seeds) and their oils. The essential fatty acids are crucial for the development of the brain, eyes and nervous system, and are especially more important in the last 3 months of pregnancy when intellectual development is at its critical stage. They can also help to prevent low birth-weight and decrease the risk of a premature birth. Taking a linseed oil supplement can be a good way of supplementing your diet in essential fatty acids.
  4. Try including beans, lentils and chickpeas on a regular basis. These are a great source of lean protein (needed for growth) and can be used in soups and casseroles straight from a can, if you haven’t got the time to cook them from scratch. These foods also provide a good source of fibre to help with constipation which can often be a problem during pregnancy.
  5. During the last trimester of pregnancy, demands for iron are greatly increased as your baby gets bigger, so focus on foods that will provide a good source of iron. Whilst animal sources such as red meat are very well absorbed sources of iron, they are also sources of saturated fat. Consider plant sources of iron as well and make sure that you get enough vitamin C in your diet as this helps with the absorption of iron. A good example is a boiled egg with a glass of orange juice. Other sources of iron include kidney beans, lentils, spinach, watercress, dried prunes and raisins
  6. Eat organic where possible to reduce your exposure to unnecessary chemicals and pesticides, which may have a detrimental effect on your baby.
  7. Drink 1-1.5 litres of water or herbal teas per day. Keep caffeine containing drinks to 2-3 cups per day (even exclude if possible) to help avoid blood sugar highs and lows which will affect your energy levels.

Foods to avoid

Any foods that are low in nutrients, such as refined, sugary foods are best kept out the diet as much as possible. Keep foods such as cakes, biscuits and pastries to a minimum. Not only do they contribute very little in the way of nutrition, but they also contribute to unnecessary weight gain which can be difficult to shift after the baby is born.

Other specific foods to avoid are:

  1. Liver and cod liver oil, as this can provide too much vitamin A in the form of retinol
  2. Meat pate’s; raw meat, fish or eggs; unpasteurised soft or blue cheeses and ready-to-eat salads in bags, because of the risk of food-borne illnesses such as listeria and salmonella.
  3. Peanuts (in excess these can cause allergies in your baby)

Lifestyle changes

  1. If you smoke, stop! Nicotine can cause an increase in foetal heart rate, decrease the blood flow to the placenta and affect the way in which nutrients are taken up by the placenta to feed the baby, thus increasing the risk of foetal growth problems in the womb.
  2. Ideally avoid drinking alcohol during the whole of your pregnancy. This is particularly important in the first 3 months but even after that it can affect brain function and the nervous system of the developing baby, so is best avoided.


Taking an essential fatty acid supplement and a general multi vitamin and mineral specifically designed for pregnancy can be important to make sure that any shortfalls in your diet are covered. A nutritional therapist would be able to assess your nutritional status and give specific individual advice.

Home | About Us | Treatment Costs | Our Location | Contact Us | Pre-Pregnancy Plan
Fertility Support Plan | Assisted Reproductive Technique Support Plan | Pregnancy Support Plan | Post Natal Plan | Modern Natural Family Planning
Site Map
All Rights Reserved: Natural Fertility Clinic, 2011