Diabetes reduces sperm count, damages DNA in men: Study

MUMBAI: Diabetic men are twice as likely to suffer from DNA damage to sperms than healthy individuals, an ongoing study by Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre has revealed. The study also showed that diabetes significantly reduced sperm count and affected the movement and appearance of sperm.

Doctors said the findings are worrying, especially when India has emerged as the diabetes capital of the world. Also, with diabetes affecting more and more young people in the country, the study has sent alarm bells ringing.

The study found that diabetic men were nearly three times more likely to suffer from sperm apoptosis— self-destruction of a cell due to break-up of the DNA—than healthy individuals.

Fragmented or broken DNA may not only lead to fertility issues but also higher miscarriage rates in couples.

Dr Firuza Parikh, director of the Jaslok Hospital’s IVF and genetics centre, said the findings were in conjunction with global observations that diabetes could contribute to changing the morphology or the look of sperm. The study showed that in diabetic men, 92% sperm looked abnormal whereas only 11% healthy donors showed abnormality.

Diabetic men also fared poorly in sperm count and motility—the agility of a sperm to fertilize an egg. In diabetic men, sperm motility hovered around 22% while it was more than double in case of those who did not suffer from the disease. Sperm count in diabetic men was found to be less than half of that of healthy individuals.

The study, initiated about three years ago by the Pedder Road hospital’s assisted reproduction and genetics department, compared the sperm quality in 120 diabetic and non-diabetic men in the 24-45 age group. Smokers were excluded to avoid any interference in the findings.

Dr Arundhati Athalye and Dr Meenal Khandeparkar, the main investigators, said the study underlined the need to perform routine DNA fragmentation testing in every diabetic patient seeking infertility treatment as that could be the underlying cause.

Dr Prochi Madon, head of genetics, pointed out that early diagnosis was the key to beat diabetes and associated health problems. “The diabetic men chosen for the study had come to the clinic seeking treatment for infertility.”

In a recent seminar at Jaslok Hospital, Dr Craig Niederberger, head of urology at the University of Illinois in Chicago, stressed that in addition to sperm function tests, it was important to thoroughly evaluate men suffering from infertility. He said the link between low testosterone, male infertility and the risk of prostatic cancer later in life was already established.

But it is not all bad news for young men with diabetes. Parikh said some couples grappling with infertility managed to conceive naturally after working on ways to de-stress. “Lifestyle modification or simple things like taking a vacation have worked for many.”

Scientists on the pathway to create male contraceptive pill

A recent study has brought scientists a step closer to developing male contraceptive pills. As per www.telegraph.co.uk, if the scientists from Israel are to be believed, they are on the pathway to create oral pills which will deactivate the sperms much before they reach the womb.  The pill is likely to remove one of the most vital proteins from the sperms. This will make sperms impotent to fertile the egg in the uterus, ruling out the chances of conceiving.

However, the pill is to be taken only once in three months. In addition, unlike the hormone jabs under trial stage which are likely to cause mood swings and depression, the prospective pill will not cause any such side effects. The pill is being developed by Bar-Ilan University, Israel.

As reported by www.zimdiaspora.com, the research study of the pill was carried out on a number of mice.

“The mice behaved nicely, They ate and had sex. All I can say is that we couldn’t see any behavioural side-effects – all their sex behaviour was retained, which is a very important consideration for men. Human trials of the pill are due to start next year”, said Haim Breitbart, one of the professors involved in the study.

Celebrities whose pregnancies we have reported on include Helena Bonham Carter, Kelly Preston, Courteney Cox Arquette and Marcia Cross.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/103941, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/191868

Blasts of ultrasound can work as a male contraceptive

In an interesting scientific study, scientists are working on a project where ultrasound can be used as a reversible contraceptive for men. Earlier also some studies were conducted to use ultrasound as a way of birth control and now the researchers at the University of North Carolina believe that it can be possible and this will be one of the most important studies for the human kind.

This recent study revealed that the blast of ultrasound in the testes can stop the production of sperm at least for six months and this will be absolutely safe. The researchers are looking forward to a grant of $100,000 from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in order to go ahead with further clinical trials.

According to news.bbc.co.uk, Dr. James Tsuruta, the lead researcher of the study was quoted as saying, “Our long-term goal is to use ultrasound from therapeutic instruments that are commonly found in sports medicine or physical therapy clinics as an inexpensive, long-term, reversible male contraceptive suitable for use in developing to first world countries.”

blog.taragana.com reports that once the testes will stop producing the sperm for six consecutive months, the man might become permanently infertile. Talking about the new finding, Dr. James said, “We think this could provide men with up to six months of reliable, low-cost, non-hormonal contraception from a single round of treatment.”

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/418147, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/159562

Michael Jackson underwent surgery to boost his sperm count

Perez Hilton, the famous gossip blogger from Hollywood, said on his site: “These injuries prompted Michael to visit a doctor while he was married to Lisa Marie Presley, in order to undergo a procedure that would increase his sperm count. We understand that the operation was not only extremely painful, but also may have been unsuccessful, leaving it impossible for Michael to father any children.”

Jackson reportedly confided in his doctor, Arnold Klein, about the brutal beatings he received as a child, telling him his genitals always appeared swollen, and were always sore. He said he didn’t believe he had the ability to father children anymore.

It is allegedly for this reason that Dr. Klein, who is claimed to have fathered one of his children through artificial insemination, donated sperm: to allow Jackson to become a father, something he wanted more than anything else, it has been claimed.

Meanwhile, the homicide investigation surrounding the mysterious death of Michael Jackson is focusing solely on Dr. Conrad Murray, his personal physician who treated him with propofol, and allegedly injected him with the deadly dose. The King of Pop was buried by close family and friends on Thursday, September 3, at night.

The funeral was attended by Elizabeth Taylor, Macaulay Culkin, Mila Kunis, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley. The funeral, scheduled to begin at 7pm in Los Angeles, was held up for two hours by Michael’s family, who was running late. His three children were joined by his parents and siblings in the front row. Michael Jackson’s final resting place is in a mausoleum at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Did Macaulay Culkin father Michael Jackson’s third child?

Read more about Michael Jackson’s addictions and his death.

Image source: http://www.trespluscool.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/michael-jackson-80er.jpg

Did Macaulay Culkin father Blanket?

They appeared to be best friends. Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin seemed inseparable during their friendship, which received particularly much media attention during the 1990s when information surfaced the King of Pop (then in his 30s) and the child star (still a young teenager) even slept in the same bed together at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. Jackson, who has had his share of child abuse allegations and scandals, was defended by Culkin, today 29, who took the stand during Jackson’s trial in defense of the singer.

Culkin and Jackson

Culkin and Jackson in the early 1990s

New rumours have now made their way into the world, perhaps highlighting just how close the bond was between Jackson and Culkin. According to sources, as published by Britain’s The Sun newspaper, Macaulay Culkin donated sperm, which was used to impregnate an anonymous surrogate who gave birth to Blanket Jackson in 2002, when Culkin was just 22 years old.

Whether this is indeed true still needs to be confirmed.

Click to read about Michael Jackson’s death and his addiction to drugs.

Photo taken from Flickr, provided by culkin.macaulay.

Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination is a form of assisted reproductive technology, in which sperm is placed in a female’s reproductive tract in order to impregnate her. Artificial insemination, or AI, is used when a couple are not able to conceive the natural way, namely by sexual intercourse.

The two particular forms of AI include when sperm is placed in a female’s cervix, which is called intracervical insemination (ICI), and intrauterine insemination (IUI) which is when the sperm is planted in a female’s uterus.

The sperm used for the procedures are either freshly ejaculated from a male, or physicians may use a frozen sample to implant. Couples who are not able to conceive naturally are not the only ones, however who choose to use this procedure: females who wish to have a child without a partner or lesbian couples frequently undergo the treatment with the help of an (usually) anonymous sperm donor.

The success rates of AI depend greatly on many factors, including the age of both the male whose sperm is being used and the female who is being treated, the total sperm count present in a man’s ejaculation, and general health.

In order to increase chances of becoming pregnant, most women will be prescribed a fertility drug before AI is performed. This fertility drug stimulates the ovaries to produce more mature eggs to be released during their menstrual cycle, while a woman naturally will only produce one per menstrual cycle. The doctor will time a woman’s ovulation process, at which the sperm, after it has been washed to concentrate the best into a small amount of fluid, will be inserted either into a woman’s cervix or uterus.

The general success rate for AI is at five to 20 percent per ovulation, and it may take several months before it is successful.

Celebrities who have used AI include American Idol Clay Aiken, singer Melissa Etheridge and her partner, and Nadya Suleman, otherwise known as Octomom.

Rumors that Macaulay Culkin, the child star from ‘Home Alone’, fathered Michael Jackson’s third child Prince Michael II (otherise known as Blanket) have not been confirmed. Actress Halle Berry is also said to have used AI to get pregnant the second time.  Clay Aiken‘s child was also conceived through artificial insemination.

Image provided by Gilberto Santa Rosa, http://flickr.com/photos/93087247@N00/61290146.