Infertility on the rise among Indian men

crop1_240x240_22aug14In simple terms infertility can be defined as any couple’s inability to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected sex. This can be caused by shortcomings in either of the partner. It is estimated that 40% of infertility is caused due to male factors and additionally 40% is caused by female factors. The remaining 20% is caused due to a combination of male and female factors. When a male is not able to impregnate his female partner the male is said to be infertile. Infertility in men can be caused by diseases and conditions and other factors. Even conditions that raise the temperature of the testicles can hamper normal sperm production.

Causes of male infertility include:

  • Physical problems with the testicles
  • Blockages in the ducts that carry sperm
  • Hormone problems
  • A history of high fevers or mumps
  • Genetic disorders
  • Lifestyle or environmental factors

It is often seen that male infertility leads to tension in the couple’s relationship. Moreover, there are so many baseless myths about infertility treatment like expensive evaluations, beyond reach of middle class, and artificial among others.

The genes have a vital role to play in male infertility. A large art of the genetic causes are due to tiny deletions in the Y chromosome. The Y chromosome is what makes you a man. It triggers the switch for all things manly – the love of sports, fascination of mean machines and a healthy admiration of Sylvester Stallone all originate from the Y chromosome and so does sperm production and testicular development. However in the natural shuffling of genetic cards minute pieces of the Y chromosome are lost which in time affects the sperm quality.

According to Dr. Rajesh Koradia “ The genetic material on Y chromosome is altering at an alarming rate which is believed to be happening from one generation to the next, giving rise to an increase in male sub-fertility cases. Y chromosome infertility is a condition that affects the production of sperm, making it difficult or impossible for affected men to father children. An affected man’s body may produce no sperm cells, a smaller than usual number of sperm cells, or sperm cells that are abnormally shaped or those which do not move properly.”

Male infertility due to the genetic factors and lifestyle factors are rapidly gaining pace as compared to other factors. However, assisted reproductive technologies can help affected men” He added.

If you suspect you are infertile, see your doctor. There are tests that may tell if you have fertility problems. When it is possible to find the cause, treatments may include medicines, surgery, or assisted reproductive technologies. Two-thirds of the couples who are treated for infertility are able to have babies.

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