AMARAVATI: In what could be an eye-opener for young men preferring late marriages, recent studies revealed that infertility among men is fast growing across the spectrum. Studies showed that urban lifestyles and the presence of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment are causing a decline in male fertility.
“There is a general shift in societal patterns, changes in sexual behaviour, preference for late marriages and fatherhood, which have contributed, to male infertility,” said noted fertility expert Dr Yaramareddy Swapna Srinath of Komali Fertility Center, associated with Dr Ramesh Group of Hospitals. Although, infertility is often branded as women’s issue, male infertility accounts for one –third of all infertility issues, she explained.
Many recent studies carried out concentrating on male infertility showed a steep declining trend in sperm count and declining male sexual performance, said Dr Swapna, adding that hypotheses for the causes of the crisis are still subject to on-going further research.
Recent medical evidence showed that sperm counts had reduced by about 50% and there is significant decrease in sperm motility. Semen analysis is the basic test performed to assess male fertility. It is done in an andrology lab. The test analyses total sperm count, motility and morphology. Over 15 million sperm per milliliter is considered normal.
Some men maynot have any sperms in the semen which can affect about 1-3 percent of normal population. This accounts for ten percent of male infertility. There are different causes for zero sperm count like congenital anamolies of male reproductive tract, genetic causes, previous surgeries in the inguinal/scrotal region, genito-urinary infections, hormonal imbalances and exposure to gonadotoxins. Males with zero sperm count in the semen used to opt to for child adoption or went for sperm donors. However, this led to family discord and has strained many couple relationship.
Experts suggest males with low sperm count to have simple life style modifications like weight reduction, diet changes, cessation of smoking and alcohol and few nutritional supplements. “If sperm count is significantly low or there is no sperm in the semen, due to blockages in the reproductive tract, it can be corrected by surgery,” said Dr Swapna.
* In case sperm count is zero due to testicular failure, advanced techniques like TESA, TESE, micro-TESE can be used to recover sperms directly from the testes.
* The recovered sperm from the testes is used to perform ICSI procedure in the IVF lab. The fertilised egg is implanted in the female partner.
* In case, hormonal imbalance is the cause for zero sperm count it can be corrected with hormonal medication.
* Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is commonly intended to treat severe male infertility including azoospermia.