More often than not, women are often told that is their egg quality, or some gyneacological factor is the cause of not being able to conceive. But, in truth, more often than not, it is actually the sperm quality that is at fault, or in combination. Fertility issues are not just a woman’s cross to bare.
Men are 50% of the fertility equation and up to 85% of miscarriage issues can be related to chromosomal and DNA factors relating to poor quality sperm in men.
To be honest, men often think that they have this inherent right to conceive and often believe there is nothing wrong with their sperm, despite never being tested. Many often avoid being tested and will often make great claims as to why they should not be tested either.
As part of proper fertility assessment, both the man and the woman need to be evaluated, not just the female.
A man will need to have a comprehensive semen analysis done and may also need further testing such as DNA fragmentation analysis, or a sperm chromatin assay. There will also be further genetic testing needed as well.
A semen analysis is really on a basic test that lets us know what the sperm look like and if they have 2 heads, 2 tails and may be swimming in circles. The fact is, that many men’s sperm quality is substandard and their sperm is actually not in a good shape at all. Recent research and statistics have shown that the male sperm quality has fallen by as much as 70% in the last 60-70 years.
There are many things that can affects a male sperm quality such as:
1. Steroids and recreational drugs
3. Smoking (including recreational drugs)
5. Drugs (pharmaceutical and illegal)
6. Being overweight and too much body fat
These are to name just a few. There are also genetic and hereditary issues that need to be checked as part of proper fertility evaluation as well.
More often than not these days, men are the bigger part of the issue when it comes to not being able to have a baby. Men are often also overlooked as part of the issue as well, which is actually not good ethical practice.
Many couples are also quick to tell me, or other healthcare practitioners, that the man’s sperm is fine, or they have been told it is fine, when actual fact it is not. OK, or fine for IVF purposes does not mean that the sperm is fine. It is very rare to see a man that is having troubles conceiving a baby with his partner that has sperm that is fine. That is the truth.
If you have been trying to conceive for a long time (and not being able to conceive) and the male has not been checked properly, or on some kind of lifestyle and preconception care plan, then in might be time you looked into that.
If you do need help with preconception care and getting your eggs and sperm more healthy, then enquire about my fertility program that has helped over 12,500 babies into the world and counting.
In the mean time have a look at this great fact sheet about your sperm and how to look after them at yourfertitity.org.au and put together by Andrology Australia.
Dr Andrew Orr
-No Stone Left Unturned
-Master of Reproductive Medicine and Women’s Health Medicine
-Women’s and Men’s Health Advocate