One critical yet overlooked area of men's health is fertility. This week we have celebrated Men's Health Awareness Week - it is essential to shed light on the significance of men's fertility and its impact on overall well-being and mental health.
Through education, support, and accessible healthcare, we can ensure that men receive the necessary guidance to maintain optimal fertility and enjoy healthier lives.
For those with access to myTamarin fertility support, book in a 1-1 consultation with one of our fertility experts for personalised expert advice, or join the conversation in our support groups via the app.
Fertility Issues in Men
Fertility issues can affect anyone. 1 in 6 couples has difficulty conceiving, and 30% of fertility problems are due to the man.
One of the most common issues of men experiencing infertility is the detrimental impact on their mental well-being. The combined physical and emotional impact of infertility can cause turmoil within a relationship and have significant emotional and psychological effects on men.
What health issues can cause infertility in men?
Many health conditions such as kidney disease to testicular cancer can affect male infertility. Metabolic disorders, fevers and infections and diseases can harm the growth of sperm.
The typical issues that affect male infertility include:
- Low sperm count: A low sperm count reduces the chances of fertilizing an egg, making conception difficult. Various factors, such as hormonal imbalances, genetic abnormalities, or lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug abuse), can impact sperm production.
- Abnormal sperm morphology: Sperm with structural defects may have difficulty reaching or fertilizing an egg. Abnormalities can include issues with the sperm head, tail, or midpiece, leading to reduced fertility.
- Impaired sperm motility: Reduced sperm motility, or the ability of sperm to move effectively, can hinder their journey to the egg. Poor sperm motility can arise from genetic factors, infections, or hormonal imbalances.
- Ejaculatory disorders: Conditions such as retrograde ejaculation (when semen enters the bladder instead of being expelled through the penis) or premature ejaculation can affect fertility.
Some lifestyle factors impacting fertility are:
- High Fat diet intake
- Low physical activity
- High stress levels
- High red meat or processed food intake
- Low Fruits and vegetables intake
- High Temperature
Making changes to these can have a huge impact on improving fertility in men.
What fertility checks are available?
In most cases fertility issues can be resolved with the correct diagnosis, treatment, and support.
A test such as a semen analysis can shed light on problems that require specific treatment.
Going to visit a clinician or specialist such as a urologist is the next step in assessing:
- Your current fertility – via a fertility assessment and physical examination
- Your future fertility – assessing how your lifestyle could be affecting your reproductive health
- How to maintain sexual health by preventing sexually transmitted infections and contraception.
- Sexual dysfunction – erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction
What treatment is available for male infertility?
Fortunately, advancements in reproductive medicine offer several solutions to overcome male fertility challenges.
- Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART): Techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help couples achieve pregnancy by bypassing certain fertility barriers.
- Medications and Hormonal Therapy: Certain medications and hormone treatments can address hormonal imbalances or stimulate sperm production.
- Surgical Interventions: Surgical procedures can correct anatomical issues, such as varicoceles (enlarged veins in the scrotum) or obstructions in the reproductive system.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can significantly improve sperm quality and motility.
At myTamarin we can help support you through the challenges of infertility. With highly qualified experts available to speak with, they can help you select the correct fertility test, analyse results, or understand your fertility journey.
The decline in male fertility is predominantly due to advancing age, poor lifestyle decisions and environmental factors. Men and women can display feelings in different ways. Men are more likely to show irritability, anxiety, and anger and in some cases find escape in their work, hobbies, alcohol and drug use or gambling.
In theory changing lifestyle, education, and nutritional, physical and psychological support should prevent large-scale male infertility and improve chances of conception. Men's Health Awareness Week serves as an excellent opportunity to educate men about the importance of making healthy choices that positively influence fertility.
Many men hesitate to seek help or discuss their concerns due to societal expectations and misconceptions. By openly discussing fertility-related topics, promoting awareness campaigns, and providing support networks, we can encourage men to overcome the stigma and access the necessary resources for fertility health.
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