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Male responsible for 60% of infertility cases, says experts



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Male fertility has been blamed for a whopping 60 per cent of infertility cases. Yet, conditions affecting male fertility are still generally underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Scientists said that infertility doesn’t just alter a man’s ability to make children; it also increases his mortality risk.

According to a Stanford University study, infertile men die younger than their infertile peers. Men with sperm concentration lower than 15 million per millilitre had a 50 per cent greater chance of being hospitalised for any medical reason at all, and poor fertility has been linked with higher rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

Several causes and risk factors have been speculated and, in some instances, proven for male infertility and published in the medical literature.

Research findings show that more men are suffering from infertility than ever, a development described by a fertility scientist, Dr Shanna Swan, as a “global existential crisis.”

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Swan warned, “The current state of reproductive affairs couldn’t continue much longer without threatening human survival.”

Some of these include smoking, alcohol intake, drugs, obesity, past or present testicular infections, exposure to environmental toxins, exposure of the testicles to excessive heat, hormonal disorders, testicular trauma and ejaculatory/erectile disorders, among others.

Similarly, a study by a group of scientists from Nigerian universities who reviewed research on male infertility classified the causes and risk factors into physiological or biological, behavioural or lifestyle, environmental, and socio-demographic.

Dr. Ajayi Abayomi, the Medical Director of Nordica Fertility Clinic, Abuja, raised concerns about declining male sperm count, diagnosis, risk factors, treatment, and IVF, among many others.


“Well, I am aware of them and would say they are authentic. A study about two years ago looked at America and Europe and said that sperm count has reduced in the last forty years by 50%.

“Also, we conducted research in our clinics; we have clinics in Lagos, Abuja and Asaba. We looked at ten (10) years apart the sperm parameters of men who presented in our clinics, and we saw a 30% decline in the sperm of men who showed up in our clinics in Nigeria.

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“I hear many women say that they observed their husbands’ sperm. I don’t know what they want to observe there because the sperm cells are living organisms, and they move. Of course, they are visible to the ordinary eyes; but you must use the microscope. So the only test that can tell you about whether a man can impregnate his wife is seminal fluid analysis, which is the examination of the sperm cells under a microscope.

“The only test is seminal fluid analysis, and in this, we look at parameters, we look at the volume of the sperm, we look at the count of the sperm, we look at the ability to move, we look at the morphology, and then we also look at the presence of white blood cells. The World Health Organisation, WHO, has fixed values for all this for us to know if the sperm count is normal or not normal.

“The latest thing on male infertility treatment is DNA fragmentation. All this we do in Nigeria. We see that the only thing the sperm contributes to the equation is the DNA at the sperm head; they exchange DNA at fertilisation with the woman and the man, which come together to form a new life.

“We discovered that if man’s DNA has been denatured or broken down more than normal, the embryo you might get might not be top quality and unable to form a baby. We have now devised a means to test the sperm to see how much denaturation has taken place to the DNA; that would be a direct reflection to see how it is for sperm to be able to fertilise the egg and develop from the stage of fertilisation to stage five of the trimester probably. And so that’s also one of the things that we are doing.

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