By Dr. Rita Bakshi
Many gynaecologists in this generation worry about the increasing rate of infertility in men. From many generations men were known to be superior or called “manly” because of their ability to produce babies. Until a generation ago, infertility didn’t exist. Unless a man had a physical deformity or a very obvious problem with his reproductive organs, he had no reason to think that he was incapable of producing a child.
There are men who have been able to successfully cope with the problem. However, infertility in men is more vexatious now than it was before. In the early 60s, any man who was in a barren marriage was given the freedom to marry another woman. This was mostly done due to the belief that if a couple cannot conceive a child then it is because of the woman. This major misconception existed well into the 90s.
As the modern society became more knowledgeable and the medical field has developed immensely, doctors and scientists have been able to discover the causes and cures for many male infertility problems.
After many researches and studies doctors today claim that men are responsible nearly 50 percent of the time.
Causes of Infertility
Doctors say that there isn’t a solid reason beside poor documentation that men would be any more infertile than they were before the birth rate spiked. The most common causes of infertility in men is greater exposure environmental toxins, increase usage of drugs and marrying at a later age.
In 1971, two urologists at New York University School of Medicine who specialize in male infertility established a study saying that varicocele was the primary cause of infertility in around 40 percent of their patients. Varicocele is the condition where there is an enlarged vein in one of the testicles and sometimes both. This is one of the many diseases or conditions that are increasing the rate of infertility.
Ways to Fight Infertility
Like many other diseases, there is a way we can fight it. The ways we can fight these diseases depend on the extremity of the condition and several other factors like age, living conditions and so on.
Diagnosis and Prevention
There are diseases which may not have cures. Unfortunately, some conditions that cause infertility also do not have a cure. For these type of conditions, diagnosis and prevention is the only way to curb the problem.
It is crucial for men to regularly get themselves checked irrespective of whether they have plans to father a child or not. With the advancement in the field of medicine, there are many new ways doctors can predict any problems that might arise in the future.
Improve sperm count
One of the most commonly heard cases of infertility is caused by low sperm count. Low sperm count or poor motility may be a result of exposure to chemicals, radiation, drugs, excessive smoking, drugs and alcohol.
Hot baths, as comforting as they seem are quite dangerous.sitting for long periods in one place or tight-fitting underwear and pants can also elevate temperatures enough to suppress sperm production.
Avoid Harmful Substances
The sperm of an average man today is half the quantity and of poorer quality, than 100 years ago. This is mainly due to heavy exposure of PCBs, DDT, dioxin and other pesticides.
The following few things can be done to protect oneself from succumbing to infertility:
Avoid plastic containers for kitchen storage. Use paper products that are whitened without using chlorine.
Use paper, napkins and toilet tissue that doesn’t contain bleach. This will reduce dioxin exposure.While many of us may find preventive methods such as avoiding the use of plastic, bleached paper and so on to be a little desperate. However, mankind is on the brink of fertility crisis. It is crucial for us to ensure that we take preventive measures to curb infertility in both men and women.
Dr. Rita Bakshi is Founder & Chairperson, International Fertility Centre and IVF Specialist.