Male infertility is a complex study further compounded by numerous myths and misconceptions. As per a research conducted by IVI – the world leaders in Assisted Reproduction, the number of male infertility incidences have almost doubled in just over a decade.
Amidst the rising number of male infertility cases worldwide, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic has shed light on the most common causes that affect male fertility – sperm motility, quantity, and quality.
Dr. Laura Melado, IVF Specialist, IVI Middle East Fertility Clinic, Abu Dhabi, said that difficulty in conceiving naturally can also be attributed to male factor infertility. According to a study conducted by IVI, almost 40 percent of all infertility cases are related to male infertility. Within that group, 90 per cent of the cases are because of low sperm count.
“Male fertility is generally tied to sperm quantity and quality. In couples where the husband has a low sperm quantity or degraded sperm quality, conceiving naturally is difficult. The reason may also pertain to slow sperm motility or movement. In this case, it becomes harder for the sperm to swim to the egg, thus making natural conception more challenging. When it comes to male infertility, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific reason. It can vary from physical to genetic to hormonal to even environmental factors. As such, we need to continue with our studies about the growing phenomenon to dig deeper into the issue and find conclusive results,” Dr. Melado explained.
Fertility experts agree that it is still not definite what causes low sperm count or slow sperm motility. Some likely reasons are hormonal imbalance or genetic problem, undescended testicles as a baby, defects affecting the tubules that transport sperm, genital infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea or prostatitis, varicoceles (enlarged veins in the testicles), previous testicles surgery or hernia repairs, some types of medication such as steroids and antibiotics, and cancer therapies.
Environmental factors such as exposure to heavy metals or industrial chemicals and X-ray or radiation exposure can also damage sperm quantity and quality. Overheating due to sitting for long periods, for example, driving or working on a laptop, can also have a detrimental effect on the sperm.
Researchers are also looking into the impact of an unhealthy lifestyle and long exposure to pollution on sperm quality. Nonetheless, fertility experts normally advise couples to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including abstaining from smoking to increase their chances of conceiving.
“Today, Reproductive Medicine still does not have specific medical low sperm count treatment, except in cases of hormonal abnormalities, in which case, the patient can take certain medication. Natural conception can still be successful despite low sperm production but most of the time, some form of Assisted Reproductive Technology is needed. Since infertility is a problem that may be related to either partner, both the husband and the wife should see fertility doctors for proper consultation in case there is a difficulty in conceiving naturally,” Dr. Melado concluded.
Men can visit a renowned health facility to have their sperm tests done. The semen analysis test offered by IVI is available at IVI Middle East Fertility Clinics which can be taken to help evaluate fertility levels.
IVI Middle East Fertility Clinics run state-of-the art clinics in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat. IVI Fertility, a renowned name in infertility treatments and a pioneer in the latest Assisted Reproductive Technologies, provides personalized care and support to all their patients across every stage of their infertility treatment. 9 out of 10 patients who undergo Assisted Reproductive Treatment with IVI Fertility realize their dream of parenthood.