Research shows that approximately 10% of the reproductive-age population in the Western World is affected by infertility and the causes lie jointly between men and women. Often there is lack of support provided to men in the area of infertility – both in terms of their own personal infertility and that of their partner. In nearly 30% of all infertility cases, the cause is attributed to male-factor infertility. And in an additional 30% of cases, the cause is attributed to the combined male and female factors. However the vast majority of treatments, support, information and advice around infertility tend to be directed towards women.
When a couple first seeks help or advice on fertility from a medical professional, it will be the woman who is tested and, if she is over the age of 30 years, it may be some time before anyone even considers testing her partner. There are general assumptions about cause and the focus tends initially to be on the female’s age, lifestyle and diet, thus ignoring what could be a much easier issue to solve, male infertility.
A little considered aspect of discovering male infertility is the emotional fallout from this awareness. If the assumption all along has been that it’s a female issue, when the male is suddenly identified it can be harrowing. This can impact on both partners and potentially cause significant stress within the relationship at a time when they particularly need to be working together.
When a couple are seeking fertility treatment they should always ensure both parties are tested at the same time. This can avoid wasting a lot of time and also involves the male partner in the process from the outset.
Get a sperm analysis done with a reputable clinic- ask for a full analysis and discuss the findings with your health care professional.
If sperm count is low or motility is low there are number of checks that you should insist on:
When a man is informed, for example, that he has a low sperm count and/or low motility, it becomes a double blow within the infertility treatment system in Ireland. Not only has he told he may be impotent, but due to the female emphasis of infertility treatment and, in particular, during IVF, a man can be left feeling denuded of his capacity to take action. Isolation and helplessness is often the consequence.
There have been numerous studies which show that acupuncture treatment has a very positive effect on both sperm quantity and mobility. With the assistance of acupuncture, couples may even avoid the potentially high costs of IVF altogether.