Male infertility: Expert busts myths on age, fitness levels, occupation and more

Infertility is a couple’s inability to conceive a child through natural conception even after a year of trying. According to several reports, in the past three to four decades, there has been a significant rise in infertility issues in men. In India, as the number continues to rise, we got in touch with Dr Parul Gupta Khanna, a fertility expert with Nova IVF Fertility, Gurugram, who got talking about various issues such as the increased exposure to environmental chemicals that disrupt one’s endocrine balance.Here are a few common myths around male infertility that the expert helps to break and find a solution for:Myth – Male infertility is not affected with increasing age
The relevance of age in the context of male fertility has often been downplayed. Contrary to popular belief that men do not face a biological clock for parenthood, there is evolving research contradicting this age-old belief. While women are acknowledged to have a finite number of eggs, it is now evident that male fertility is not immune to the effects of aging. Studies indicate a notable decline in the quality of sperm with advancing age. Moreover, the levels of testosterone, a crucial male sex hormone produced in the testicles, exhibit a decline.Myth – Optimal physical fitness equates to enhanced fertility
Physical fitness implies freedom from various diseases, a robust immune system, and well-managed blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, it is imperative to recognise that physical fitness alone does not guarantee the presence of healthy sperm or improved fertility.Myth- Infertility is always a female issue
This prevailing misconception has endured within our societal fabric for an extended period. Even today, many believe that infertility pertains to females only. It is crucial to dispel this misconception and acknowledge that infertility is not confined to a specific gender; rather, it can manifest in both females and males.Myth – A man’s occupation has no impact on fertility rates
Compounds known to adversely affect sperm health include pesticides like organophosphates, plastics such as phthalates and BPA, as well as heavy metals like cadmium and lead. Professions involving exposure to electromagnetic radiation, heat, and mechanical vibrations can also impact male fertility.Myth- Regular masturbation diminishes sperm count
While frequent masturbation is associated with a potential decrease in sperm count, it is crucial to recognise the simultaneous positive impact on sperm quality. Limited ejaculation intervals may contribute to an accumulation of inactive sperm. According to expert advice, couples aspiring to conceive are recommended to engage in intimacy every other day, ensuring the freshness of sperm quality.In a majority of instances, male fertility concerns can be effectively addressed through lifestyle adjustments, targeted supplementation, surgical interventions, and appropriate medical interventions such as sperm freezing, IVF, ICSI, etc.

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