Male infertility is something that we truly believe needs to be talked about more. The incidence of infertility due to male factor has increased over the past several years. It is no longer exclusively a female issue.
Currently, the vast majority of infertility due to low sperm counts or very poor quality sperm is treated by IVF using a technique in which sperm is selected and injected into the egg, known as Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection(ICSI).
At least 25 percent of couples will conceive when ICSI is used to overcome ‘male factor’ sperm problems. That is a significant amount of couples!
My Urology colleagues and I share the view that certainly we should be investigating more sub-fertile men because treatable conditions are found in more than half of the cases. Equally as important is to find a reason, and therefore an explanation and
even a treatment. Because up until now, all men with poor sperm have been offered IVF without investigation or treatment, there is no robust, world-wide data to prove that treating men influences either natural pregnancy rates or outcomes from IVF with ICSI.
However, those of us who see large numbers of ‘male factor infertility’ and who are lucky enough to have access to the most recent laboratory testing (DNA fragmentation, Reactive Oxygen Species and other tests for infection) believe that many cases can be improved and that pregnancy rates are also positively affected.
Male infertility needs to be discussed more because many times, their infertility is usually treatable with lifestyle changes. We are counseling patients to opt for a plant based diet, reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking (Cigarettes, Cigars and
This, in turn, will help to increase pregnancy rates, and in many cases overall make a notice health impact .