Nearly half of infertility cases involve men, but nearly all are treatable
REGINA, SK, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Infertility is commonly perceived as a woman's issue, yet nearly half of all cases involve male factors. With advances in treatment, nearly all (99 per cent) of male-factor cases are treatable, if treatment is sought.
Dr. Allison Case and Dr. Adrian Gamelin, Co-Directors of Aurora Reproductive Care, believe there is a common misperception that infertility is a woman's issue, yet it's prevalent among men. "Male-factor infertility used to be a much bigger challenge," says Dr. Case. "Now, only one percent of cases can't be resolved - but it's a diagnosis that is often suffered in silence due to stigma and many men don't or are reluctant to seek treatment as a result."
This Father's Day, Infertility Saskatchewan is urging men experiencing fertility challenges to not delay seeking treatment and getting out the message that there is hope. Since a woman's fertility declines with age, waiting can decrease the couple's chances of conception.
Nearly all male-factor infertility cases can be resolved through safe, effective treatments - with in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI, as it is more commonly known, being the clinical best practice. While nearly all male-factor cases are treatable, cost at approximately eight to ten thousand dollars per treatment cycle is a common barrier to timely treatment. Although male fertility does not decrease significantly with age, sperm quality and thus the risk of genetic disorders in men increases after age 40.
Male-factor infertility causes include medical conditions such as: varicocele - swelling of veins in the testicle; infection - including sexually transmitted diseases; and retrograde ejaculation - when semen is redirected to the bladder. Other causes include genetic predisposition, cancer treatment, obesity and injury to the testicles. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drugs and alcohol can also make it difficult for a man to impregnate a woman.
In men previously diagnosed as sterile, a new sperm retrieval technique allows for the precise removal of testicular tissue in areas of active sperm production.
The following requirements must be in place for a man to be fertile: A man must produce sperm. Sperm must be carried into the semen. Sperm quantity must be adequate. Shape and motility (ability to move) must be normal.
"Men wanting to have children shouldn't wait," recommends Dr. Gamelin. "A man's age is a significant factor in determining the baby's health outcome. Under 40 is ideal."
Male Fertility Facts
- Both men and women experience infertility. Nearly half of all fertility cases involve men.
- Smoking increases the likelihood of infertility. Smoking affects fertility by as much as 30 percent in men.
- Cancer treatments impact male fertility. Freezing sperm is an option that men should evaluate.
- Strenuous bicycle riding and excessive heat, such as hot tubs and laptops, can affect fertility.
- You can get pregnant up to six days after intercourse. Fact, sperm can live in a woman's body for nearly a week.
Male Fertility Myths
- 'Size matters'. False, except when related to the testicles. Smaller testicles have been linked to lower sperm count.
- A man's age does not affect childbearing. False: Waiting until after age forty can affect the child's health outcome.
- Men's underwear can reduce fertility. False.
- Daily intercourse is recommended to increase the chance of conception. False: Waiting two days between intercourse allows men to increase their sperm count.
- Eating red meat reduces fertility. Myth, but a healthy diet and weight do correlate.
About Infertility Saskatchewan
Infertility Saskatchewan is a patient group advocating for public funding of infertility treatments and improved access to quality, compassionate care.
Image with caption: "Father's Day Fertility Facts: Nearly half of all infertility cases involve men, but nearly all male-factor cases are treatable (CNW Group/Infertility Saskatchewan)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130611_C7196_PHOTO_EN_27881.jpg
SOURCE: Infertility Saskatchewan
For further information:
For more information and to speak to Dr. Allison Case or Dr. Adrian Gamelin, Co-Directors of Aurora Reproductive Care or Anna Baker of Infertility Saskatchewan, please contact: