What men need to know about their fertility?

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happy fertile man

The majority of men still treat the topic of male fertility as taboo. On the other side, the number of infertile couples shows a growing tendency.

Infertility is no more only a medical or psychological problem. The huge number of infertile couples is giving this problem a social dimension too. Inability to fulfill one of the main social roles – to become a father due to lack of male fertility awareness is reaching an alarming stage.
Statistics show the following: 

  • 1 in 7 couples is infertile
  • The reason for the couple’s infertility in 35% is the women’s fertility problem
  • In almost 50% of the cases, the reason is a man’s fertility problem. 

Women have been carrying the weight of infertility on their shoulders for way too long. The contribution of male fertility problems in conceptions and/or infertility is rarely discussed in public. Also, the media has a great contribution to man’s obliviousness related to this topic.

Infertility in men is also not present in discussions within the man’s closest circle. It is also devastating to know that the number of men who haven’t seen a urologist until their 40 is still quite big.

Our team at euroCARE in Cyprus would like to bring the topic of man fertility closer to every couple that wants to start a family. It is time to shake up man’s awareness of their fertility and take a look at the other side of the coin! 

Most common myths about male fertility

Unfortunately, there are still on-going myths about men’s fertility. Moreover, there are still men who are trusting them. It can be because of a lack of proper information or a lack of this topic’s presence in the public. So let’s take a quick tour through them.

Male fertility doesn’t have an “expiration date”

This might be the most dangerous myth about male infertility! Men have been “served” this myth for ages. But every man should realize one thing. Producing sperm doesn’t mean a 100% healthy reproductive system.
Male fertility declines with age in the following ways:

  • Sperm’s motility and semen volume decline with age. There are huge alterations in the sperm quality between a man in the 20ties and man in the 40ties.
  • The DNA quality of sperm decreases with age too. This can result in disease development in the embryo.

The consequences of decreased sperm and semen quality can be serious. Even if it won’t cause infertility in the couple, it can severely damage the health of the born child. The chances of developing autism and schizophrenia in the children of older fathers (over 40) are bigger.

Male fertility is not as vulnerable as women’s

Yeah, we all know how man enjoys the role of the stronger ones in a straight couple. But, it is not always a productive way to approach things. Especially not when it comes to discussing fertility!

Men, due to the fact that they want to preserve the reputation of the stronger one, usually are more exposed to dangers and stress.  They tend to not share their problems and to accumulate stress. Most men like any doctor visits (Especially urologists). Thus, a lot of health issues are staying undiagnosed and untreated in men. Those can decrease the quality of the reproductive materials and their fertility.

A strong man is a healthy man

This myth refers to gym myths. Thus, men who still think that life spent in the gym improves their reproductive health. The sad truth is that man can be strong enough to move a mountain, and at the same time have poor quality sperm. Why is that so?

Men who are doing resistance training are usually over-exercising themselves. While also consuming protein supplements they are exposing themselves to decreased sperm concentration.  Experts already warned that protein shakes may cut the sperm count. Also, if consumed long-term, it can harm the release of hormones necessary for sperm production. Work smarter, not harder!  

It is easy to become a father 

No, it is not easy to become a parent! Equally for men and women!

The process of getting pregnant today, with the fast-paced life is quite a challenge. Getting pregnant today requires even stronger dedication and carefulness. Those who are living in big cities are exposed to air pollution and unhealthy living style. Work positions are getting more stressful too. Postponing parenthood because of any personal reason won’t go much in the prosper of fertility. Getting pregnant means a lot of sacrifices, high awareness and constantly staying informed.

So, what should a man be careful of, if they want to prevent harmed fertility? 

Factors that have a negative impact on male fertility

There is a range of reasons that can stand behind harmed male’s fertility. And here they are: 

  • Age 
  • Usage of illicit drugs
  • Obesity and bad body mass index (BMI)
  • Medications such as antibiotics, anabolic steroids, high blood pressure medicine
  • Heat on the genitals (tight briefs, hot tubs, hot showers, heaters on car seats, having warm objects around testicles)
  • Smoking
  • High intake of alcohol
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Stress 

Medical conditions as a cause for decreased infertility

  • Testicular problems (Undescended testicle, gonadal disorder or injuries)
  • Disrupted hormonal balance
  • Varicocele (Enlargement of veins in the scrotum) 
  • Ejaculation problems (Retrograde ejaculation or ejaculation backward into the bladder)
  • Blockages in the ducts (blockages anywhere between testicles and penis)
  • Carrying of some sexually transmitted diseases
  • Presence of anti-sperm antibodies 

All the mentioned factors can harm your parenthood in several ways: 

  • Decrease your sperm count 
  • Producing of lazy sperm (Bad motility of the sperm and decreased chances of fertilization)
  • Sperm with bad morphology for fertilization (shape and structure)
  • Bad DNA quality of the sperm
  • Development of serious diseases such as Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities in the child

“Okay, I understand the danger. Now, how can I check my fertility?”

If you are a man reading this article, and you came to this question, then you are making significant progress!
More important for euroCARE than men being aware of how their fertility can be harmed is men being aware of how to check man fertility. And most important for us is to increase man’s willingness to do these checks!

Let’s take a look at what man can do to check their fertility at euroCARE IVF in Cyprus.

Visit a urologist and get a physical examination

The first step towards getting a fertility evaluation is visiting a urologist. This way a man will get a physical examination and mapping of his health condition. Also, questions related to the lifestyle would be included, so the doctor can get a full picture. Knowing the medical history and inheritable conditions are also of high importance.
The questions such as:

  • previous surgery history 
  •  medicine intake
  • sexual life and sexually transmitted diseases
  • exercising habits and 
  • illicit drugs usage (at the moment, or historically)

 … should be answered 100% honestly!

Check the presence of STD

The urologist might need further blood and STD tests to check the presence of any potential danger.
The presence of STD can decrease the quality of the reproductive system in men and increase the risk of a healthy pregnancy. That’s why this test is one of the most important when trying to start a family.

Semen and sperm analysis at euroCARE IVF in Cyprus

These are the most important analysis for male’s fertility evaluation. Providing these analyses are of crucial importance for us. Even without proceeding to an IVF treatment, we offer men the possibility to check their fertility at our clinic.

These analyses consist of: 

  • Evaluation and checks of sperm’s count and concentrations
  • Evaluation of the sperm’s morphology (shape)
  • Evaluation of the sperm’s movement (motility)

Hormone evaluation

Not only women are “hormonal” and women’s fertility depends on the hormone levels. Testosterone regulates the production of sperm. That’s why is also checked when evaluating male’s fertility.

Genetic testing 

Prior to this test there should be a low concentration in sperm detected. If that is the case, then a blood test suitable to check the Y chromosome is made. This can prevent further complications with the child or the pregnancy itself. 

Ultrasound check for the presence of varicocele and other testicular problems  

This ultrasound check, also known as scrotal ultrasound can allow the doctor a better view of your body’s condition. Having a visual of your body’s inside can help in detecting any anomalies within your reproductive system such as varicocele. 

Prostate ultrasound

As one of the most endangered organs in men (especially in advanced age) and exposed to cancer development, this is an important test! With this ultrasound, any blockage in the ejaculatory ducts and seminal vesicles can be determined. 

Test for retrograde ejaculation 

This urinalysis can detect if a man is experiencing retrograde ejaculation. This condition is one of the top 10 infertility causes in men.

Specialized sperm function evaluation

This group of tests can provide a picture of how the sperm behaves after ejaculation. Problems with penetrating and attaching with the egg can be predicted with these tests. 

Anti-sperm antibodies control 

This test is made to detect any special protein production that can act against the sperm in man’s blood, vaginal fluids, or in the semen. This condition can lead to so-called immunologic infertility when antibodies are stopping the fertilization.

Undergoing these tests doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad is going to be followed. Yet, it is crucially important to detect any anomaly on time, so the proper treatment and solution would be applied.

So, let’s explore the possibilities of treatments and some suggestions on how to increase male fertility.

Treatments for male fertility

The most common medical treatments listed from less invasive to advanced technological treatments: 

Infections treatments with antibiotics

If any kind of infection was detected, then it is quite clear that it should be treated properly to avoid any future risks. Antibiotics would be prescribed to clean the body from any infections in the reproductive system 

Restoring the hormonal balance with medications 

After the hormone levels are checked, if any abnormalities with certain hormones were found, then medications for restoring the optimal balance can improve your fertility. 

Treating of sexual dysfunctions

Problems with premature ejaculations and erectile dysfunctions can also be easily treated with taking medication for a certain time.

Surgeries for improving male fertility

There are multiple types of surgeries dedicated to resolving problems that can not be treated with medications. For example, surgery is needed to resolve obstructions within the reproductive system such as varicocele or prior vasectomies.

In this group are also the sperm retrieval surgical procedures that are helpful when no sperm is detected in the ejaculate. At euroCARE IVF in Cyprus we perform the following  sperm retrieval micro-surgical techniques:

  • Percutaneous sperm aspiration (PESA) – Sperm is collected directly from the reservoir of sperm above each testicle with a syringe and fine needle
  • Testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) – Retrieval of seminiferous tubules with a fine needle passing through the testes.  
  • Testicular sperm extraction (TESE) – Removal of a small part of testicle’s tissue to extract few sperm cells from the tissue
  • Micro TESE – Taking a sample of sperm through a very small incision in the scrotum. Done with anesthesia, the testicles are opened and with microscopic help, the swollen seminiferous tubules containing sperm are located. 

Assisted reproductive technologies and IVF Cyprus

In vitro fertilization (IVF Cyprus) offers a list of treatments on how to overcome the couple’s infertility. It uses highly advanced technological conditions to fertilize the egg and sperm in a controlled laboratory environment. It can be the right solution for couples struggling with diagnosed infertility.

How to naturally improve male fertility? 

Preventing fertility problems is everyone’s choice and depends on one’s dedication. There are many ways to improve a man’s fertility, which are easy to include in every daily activity. Some of them would need changes in the lifestyle or some minor “sacrifices” of one’s comfort. But implementing them will improve not only the function of the reproductive system but also the health.

Keep in mind that you are on the path of getting pregnant, and that means, you are now responsible not only for yourself. Your partner and your future child are also counting!

Here is the list of the Do’s and Don’ts to improve a male fertility:

  • Stop smoking tobacco and/or marijuana! This can lead to bad sperm motility and low sperm count
  • Decrease alcohol intake! It can harm the sperm’s morphology (shape)
  • Apply moderate physical activities and keep your weight under control.
  • Increase the vitamin intake and food containing antioxidants
  • Intake of food rich with magnesium, calcium, zink, omega 3, vitamin B
  • Avoid environment rich with toxins(radiation, heavy metals, overly polluted air places)
  • Reduce the stress and start practicing some stress management techniques (yoga, meditation, therapy)
  • Maintain a stable sleeping schedule and be sure you are sleeping enough
  • Start to do regular medical checkups even if you are not planning on starting a family soon.
  • Avoid very hot shower

What if everything was done but still unable to get pregnant?

That means, that not everything was actually done. Reach to the help of assisted reproductive technologies and IVF in Cyprus! In vitro fertilization (IVF in Cyprus) has helped a lot of infertile couples from all around the world.
Our clinic offers a high-tech method to help men increase their chances to get pregnant with own reproductive material, the sperm sorting chip. This procedure allows the selection of the best DNA and physiological quality sperm for future fertilization.

In cases of diagnosed male infertility, there is always present the option of using a sperm donor to start a family.
Sperm donation Cyprus is a procedure in which a man (sperm donor) provides sperm (donor sperm) to help an individual or a couple conceive a baby. This type of reproduction is known as third-party reproduction. Our sperm donors are carefully examined, so your chances of getting pregnant are significantly increased. 

We are here to improve male fertility too! 

Contact our team and share your experience with us through the possibility of a free consultation.
Either if you like to get a full fertility evaluation, or you would like to hear what are your options for an IVF treatment, we will be a helping hand for you with providing you low-cost IVF treatments and fertility evaluations.

You are only a step away from full fertility evaluation and help provided by one of the best IVF doctors in Cyprus

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Resources:
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/diets-of-fathers-can-affect-future-health-of-offspring-study-finds-1.4103557

https://www.thedailybeast.com/yes-women-are-making-fewer-babies-but-no-its-not-womens-fault

https://elemental.medium.com/what-men-need-to-know-about-their-fertility-7760b054349c

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