Nearly 40% of infertility cases involve men, but many are treatable
CALGARY, June 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Infertility is commonly perceived as a
woman's issue, yet many cases involve male factors. With advances in
treatment, many male-factor cases are now treatable.
"There's a common misperception that infertility is only a woman's
issue, yet infertility is prevalent among men," says Dr. Cal Greene,
Director of the Regional Fertility Program in Calgary. "Male-factor
infertility used to be a much bigger challenge than it is today. Now
men once considered infertile can father pregnancies using the assisted
This Father's Day, Generations of Hope, an Alberta organization that
advocates for those facing infertility, is urging men experiencing
fertility challenges to not delay seeking treatment and is getting out
the message that there is hope. Since a woman's fertility declines with
age, delay in receiving treatment can decrease a couple's chances of
In men previously diagnosed as having no sperm, a method of testicular
biopsy may allow for the precise removal of testicular tissue in areas
of active sperm production. Many male-factor infertility cases can be
resolved through safe, effective treatment, with intracytoplasmic sperm
injection, better known as ICSI, often being used. While many
male-factor cases are treatable, cost at approximately ten to twelve
thousand dollars per treatment cycle is a common barrier to timely
treatment. Male fertility does not decrease significantly with age,
sperm quality and the risk of genetic disorders in men gradually
increases after age 40 years.
When 30-year-old Trevor Stoklosa of Edmonton tried to start a family
with his 28-year-old wife Alisha, he was told that low testosterone and
the shape of his sperm prevented him from conceiving naturally. "I went
through a rollercoaster of emotions," he recalls. "It was a little
embarrassing. It makes you feel like you're not a full man." The
situation worsened when he discovered the recommended treatment of IVF
in conjunction with ICSI - while providing a 50 to 70 per cent chance
of conception - would cost $12,000. "When we heard the news, my partner
and I were both absolutely devastated. The money factor is huge. We
don't have money for this kind of treatment."
Male-factor infertility is usually a condition a man is born with.
Other causes include: varicoceles - swelling of veins in the testicle;
infection - including sexually transmitted diseases; and retrograde
ejaculation - when semen is redirected into the bladder: cancer
treatment, obesity and injuries to the testicles.
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 including the shape and motility - meaning
the ability to move - must be normal.
"Men wanting to have children shouldn't wait," recommends Dr. Greene. "A
man's age plays a role in determining the baby's health outcome. Under
40 is ideal."
Generations of Hope is actively petitioning the Alberta Government,
having attracted over 17,000 signatures, to publically fund treatment
for the one in six Alberta couples suffering from infertility. To find
out more or to sign their Petition, please visit generationsofhope.ca.
Male Fertility Facts
Both men and women experience infertility. Approximately 40% of all
fertility cases involve men.
Cancer treatments impact male fertility. Freezing sperm before treatment
should be considered.
Strenuous bicycle riding and excessive heat, such as hot tubs and
laptops, can affect fertility.
You can get pregnant up to three days after intercourse. Sperm can live
in a woman's body for approximately 72 hours.
Male Fertility Myths
A man's age does not affect childbearing. False: Sperm counts and the
quality of the sperm slowly declines with age.
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. False, but a healthy diet and weight
About Generations of Hope (GOH)
GOH is a non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness of
infertility and helping couples struggling with infertility attain
their dream of a family. Through the Generations of Hope Fertility
Assistance Fund, families for whom IVF treatment is a challenging
financial option can receive assistance for treatment at the Regional
Fertility Program. Since 1985, there have been nearly 11,500 IVF
births through the program in Calgary.
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/Generations of Hope)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130611_C7201_PHOTO_EN_27884.jpg
SOURCE: Generations of Hope
For further information:
and to speak to Dr. Cal Greene, Director of the Regional Fertility Program in Calgary, Tim Halpen, President of Generations of Hope, or Trevor Stoklosa, please contact: