By Vikas Vaidya:
Habit of alcohol consumption, smoking, chewing of tobacco are some of the factors
Very few people are aware of the fact that males too are infertile, so everytime it is not female who is responsible for not being able to conceive child. Percentage of males getting infertile is rising. Reasons attributed to medical as well as social. Lack of sperm count is one reason but consuming alcohol, smoking, drugs, plastic pollution are the social reasons leading to several issues in men that make them unable to become fertile partner. Rate of infertility in men is 15%. Male infertility factors contribute to approximately 30% of all infertility cases, and male infertility alone accounts for approximately one-fifth of all infertility cases. Infertility is defined clinically in women and men who cannot achieve pregnancy after 1 year of having intercourse without using birth control, and in women who have two or more failed pregnancies. Yes, male infertility is treatable.
Often, an exact cause of infertility can't be identified. Even if an exact cause isn't clear, Fertility doctors might be able to recommend treatments or procedures that will result in conception. Dr Shilpi Sud, leading fertility specialist and noted Gynaecologist said, “Many different medical conditions and other factors can contribute to fertility problems, and an individual case may have a single cause, several causes, or—in some cases—no identifiable cause. To conceive a child, a man's sperm must combine with a woman's egg. The most common issues that lead to infertility in men are problems that affect how the testicles work.
Other problems are hormone imbalances or blockages in the male reproductive organs.” Dr Nirmala Vaze, noted senior gynaecologist pointed out, “A hormone imbalance or blockage of sperm movement can cause a lack of sperm. In some cases of infertility, a man produces less sperm than normal.” “Causes of male infertility may include: genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely,” pointed out Dr Chaitanya Shembekar, well-known Gynaecologist and Past President of Nagpur Obstetrics and Gynaecologist.
Explaining the reasons for a low sperm count or lack of sperm, Dr Sud said, “The reasons include one or more of the following: A pre-existing genetic condition, use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, severe mumps infection after puberty, hernia repairs, hormone disorder, exposure to poisonous chemicals, exposure to radiation, blockage caused by a previous infection, injury to the groin area.” Ejaculation problems may include premature ejaculation retrograde ejaculation, which occurs when the semen is forced back into the bladder, erection dysfunctions, complications from radiation therapy or surgery. Elaborating other causes of male infertility, Dr Pragati Khalatkar, noted Gynaecologist said, “History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), Urinary Tract Infections, use of certain types of medications are some of the causes.”
“The number and quality of a man’s sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle factors like: alcohol, drugs, environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead smoking cigarettes, health problems, medicines radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer,” added Dr Sud. Dr Sanjay Deshpande, Sexologist said, “Rising pollution, rampant use of plastic are the reasons resulting in growing stress issues. This physical and mental stress compelling men to go for smoking, use of tobacco. Nowadays obesity is seen since childhood which poses threat during adulthood.
Obesity is one of the factors of infertility. Unfortunately sex is being taken as recreation. Talking about sperm count, it was better at 60 million per ml of semen. Now 20 million per ml too is considered normal. Various social changes, new conceptions about sex have come, because of which infertility men is on rise.” Men can improve their fertility by eliminating tight fitting clothes, long bike rides and hot tubs, and avoiding holding a laptop in their lap because this can increase scrotal temperature and reduce sperm production.
Moderate exercise (up to one hour) can reduce the risk of infertility, and improve sperm quality.
Exercise of less than 15 minutes can increase the risk of infertility. Extreme exercise can cause infertility. Stress impairs fertility.
Practice stress-reduction techniques. Try acupuncture, yoga, meditation, breathing and massage therapy.
Counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which uses methods that include relaxation training and stress management, might help relieve stress.