Is Male Infertility on the Rise?
Looking at the Fertility and IVF clinics and hospitals which have increased in number recently, infertility definitely seems to be a concern today. While it was long considered that only the female partner was the cause of any fertility problem, the truth is that it could be either the male or female, or both. Almost 40% of infertility cases have found the male to be the contributor. Now that these issues have been brought more into the open, neither the male nor female partner needs to feel “guilty”. Instead, they should look at the causes for this and see how they can be overcome.
Generally, sperm defects including low sperm count varies in male individuals depending on biological, health, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Taking care of your health is the prime factor. Some issues which can be detrimental to health, leading to a decrease in sperm quality, are:
An unhealthy diet can result in a decreased sperm quality. A balanced and healthy diet, on the other hand, can lead to the opposite. Foods which contain protein, vitamin D and zinc are nutrients which can increase the production of testosterone, leading to an increase in sperm quality, including count and motility. Leafy vegetables, eggs, bananas, fish, walnuts and dark chocolate are just some of these foods.
High stress levels and temperature: Research has shown that sperm counts fluctuate relating to the level of stress the person is undergoing. Also, exposure to high temperatures has been found to contribute to sperm DNA damage thereby causing infertility. Workers in factories, machine operators, welders and construction workers are sometimes affected by this. Office employees who operate laptops and smartphones continuously, with hardly a break, can also fall prey to this. With many people working from home, operating a computer literally from their “laptops” can affect sperm counts, as the scrotum and testes in men are affected by exposure to variations in temperature.
Alcohol intake and smoking: These 2 factors affect all aspects of the general health of a person, including fertility. If both can be considerably cut down, if not cut out completely, then it would help the overall sperm quality and reproductive health of an individual.
Lack of exercise: Exercise is another factor which is beneficial for general health. At a regular pace and in moderation, walking, jogging, cycling and swimming can help sperm count.
Unprotected sex with strangers: There is a risk of male infertility by contracting sexually transmitted diseases by promiscuity.
Conclusion: Studies have shown that sperm quality has decreased over the years. However, simultaneously there have also been advancements in the field of semen analysis and fertility treatments. With accurate diagnosis, the most suitable fertility treatments can be offered to the couple leading to higher rates of success pregnancies. At Andrology Center, we offer semen analysis and DFI (sperm DNA fragmentation index) tests, which provide an accurate representation on the sperm quality and inform on the level of sperm DNA integrity. Depending on the results, an Infertility Specialist or Andrologist will be able to guide the couple to the most suitable Fertility Treatment.