Both genders are equally likely to experience fertility issues. Infertility affects about 7% of men’s population, however, it seems as if the society is not well aware and has a lack of knowledge around the subject.
What should every man know about fertility and before IVF?
Men can produce sperm throughout their lifetime. A healthy young man will produce about 100 million sperm daily and 50 million per ejaculate. When a man goes through temporary health problems, sperm quality can be affected but it will return to the normal after the successful treatment.
According to the commonly spread myth,when trying to conceive, a couple should constrain themself from having sex and save maximal effort for the ovulation period. The information they usually have is that sperm supply could be wasted. This knowledge is absolutely false and therefore brings more stress to the process. The sperm supply can not be wasted because male body produces it continually. Opposite to this belief, it is the best practice to enjoy the life, not constrain oneself from the sexual life and not allow stress to lead to the worse results.
It will usually be impossible to study male fertility without the semen analysis. While ejaculating, semen includes sperm as well as other protein and sugar substances. Analysis will study the semen sample and focus on the following parts :
- Sperm count – what is the concentration of sperm in the semen?
- Motility – How is the sperm moving? Does it have the ability to move as expected?
- Morphology – Do sperm cells have the proper characteristics in terms of appearance?
If analysis detect abnormalities that can not be treated, doctor will most likely plan the IVF program with intracytoplasmic sperm injection(ICSI). ICSI is used when the fertility issue is related to the sperm and includes selecting the healthiest sperm under the microscope and injecting it directly in the mature egg.
If a man has discomfort of any kind, may it be pain in the testicles, erection or ejaculation problems, then it is the right time to visit a doctor. This sounds scary for many, however the problem may not be related to fertility at all. The reason may be a small trauma or just a hard week at work. The issue needs to be addressed in any case and nothing should be left unclear.
Lifestyle matters a lot
It is absolutely acceptable to consume alcohol occasionally and in moderation. However, excessive consumption will affect sperm quality and can even lead to erectile dysfunction.
Similarly to alcohol, smoking can cause erectile problems as well as impact sperm’s ability to swim, its production and shape.
Sticking to a healthy body mass index is crucial. High BMI is related to hormonal problems and may lead to infertility.
Age matters. Even though biological clock for women is shorter, man’s age can also have an influence on fertility as the sperm quality may decrease with age.