Saturday, February 21, 2015

Myths about Male Infertility

With infertility on the rise, it is but natural that there will be a lot of information and misinformation floating around. It’s also very natural for couples to assume that it's the woman who has a problem. Whenever a couple can’t have a baby, its women who are faulted for it. Have you ever heard a man being called “barren”?

The Myths and the Facts

But it’s time for that perception to be changed. Modern research has shown that 40-50% of all infertility is caused by male factors. Our clinic too has a number of men with infertility issues coming in for treatment. But, we have also seen that there are many old beliefs & new rumors about what can affect a man’s fertility.  Here are some that are true, some untrue and some just a “maybe”

#1 A man’s age has nothing to do with him being able to father a child

The fact is that the quantity & quality of a man’s sperm start declining after the age of 40; it declines further after the age of 50. However, it’s possible for a man to father a child after that age, as they don’t really go through any menopause-equivalent stage that women go through; and so they do not lose their ability to produce sperm. However, with progressing age there is a drop in the sperm count and it becomes one of the reasons why some older couples can’t conceive in their bedroom

#2 Boxers are better than briefs

This is false. The boxers vs briefs battle is an age old one. It surfaces in discussions that are far removed from fashion/ psychological aspects and gravitate towards the topic of sperm production. However, there really is no conclusive evidence that it is true. Ideally, men should wear what they are comfortable wearing

#3 Hot tubs are harmful

It’s true.  If you’re attempting to get pregnant, request your man to keep out of that hot tub, sauna or Jacuzzi; whether it’s just in your home or after a gym workout. Some men who regularly use hot tubs & saunas produce less sperm and their sperm also has lower motility (the ability to swim)

# 4 A laptop on his lap will kill his sperm

This one’s a maybe. There actually is some evidence that heat that a laptop generates can increase the scrotum’s temperature & might interfere with the production of sperm in the testes. It’s true that not all experts will be in agreement on this one; however, if you’ll are trying to have a baby, isn’t it just better to put that laptop on a table?

#5 A cigarette after isn’t really going to affect his infertility

It’s false. Smoking tobacco is linked to decreased fertility in men as well as in women. In the latter, it also reduces the chances of successful IVF treatment. Very simply, if he smokes, he’s affecting the chances of your having a baby

#6 If his pot belly shrinks, your family can grow

This is true. Maintaining healthy weight is good both for a man and woman, especially when they are facing infertility issues in men; it’s about the sperm as well as the ability to actually deliver them. In men, obesity is associated with a reduced sperm count & quality. It might also result in sperm not being shaped right (which means they cannot penetrate an egg). Studies have shown that a 10 kg increase in the man’s weight may lead to a 10% rise in the risk of infertility. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is good for the man , as well as for the woman , and increases their chances of having a baby.

Be Well-Informed

As you can see, there are a number of myths and facts about what causes male infertility - these are just a handful of them. The word of caution here is, don’t just believe everything blindly. If you have been attempting to get pregnant for a more than a year, it’s probably time to consult an IVF doctor. Want more information about infertility treatment?  Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you in a better way!

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