Causes of male infertility can be complex

One in six couples struggle to conceive
  • Deborah Condon

The causes of male infertility are varied and complex, however a simple, non-invasive test can provide some answers, a fertility expert has said.

According to Dr Bart Kuczera, a consultant gynaecologist with Beacon CARE Fertility, one in six couples in Ireland has problems conceiving, and one-third of these cases can be attributed to the male partner.

"The causes of male infertility are complex and extremely varied. It can be as a result of low sperm counts, DNA fragmentation, sperm production issues or male chromosomal issues. I would urge any man that has concerns about their fertility to have a comprehensive semen analysis, which is a simple and non-invasive test for male fertility," he explained.

He pointed out that there are a range of medical treatments now available for men with fertility problems, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the centre of an egg. ICSI may be considered in different cases, such as when sperm quality is unsuitable for conventional IVF.

Meanwhile, Dr Kuczera also emphasised that research findings show that simple lifestyle changes ‘can boost a man's fertility considerably'.

He advised those with fertility issues to consider the following lifestyle changes:

-Avoid anything that can raise the temperature of your groin, such as sitting still for long periods of times, using a laptop on your lap, tight underwear, hot baths/saunas, and working in a hot environment, such as a kitchen
-Ensure you get proper sleep
-Eat a healthy diet
-Do not smoke
-If consuming alcohol, drink moderately
-Avoid ‘recreational' drugs as these impair the quality of sperm.


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