By Professor Sheena Lewis, Examen
International Men’s Day is a gentle reminder for us all to appreciate and celebrate the men in our lives. For Examen, this presents an ideal time to show our dedication to helping men understand the causes of infertility. Research has helped us come a long way in our understanding, but many misconceptions remain. The worst myth is that infertility is almost always a woman’s problem. This is simply not true. Male infertility is responsible for 50% of a couple’s problems – just the same as the woman!
Lack of discussion and openness around male infertility means men experiencing fertility issues often struggle in silence. This can have a significant negative effect on men’s mental health, and male infertility is affecting more men than ever before.
Not understanding the causes of male infertility can be one of the most agonising challenges for men. Unanswered questions weighing heavy on their minds. That is why we’re so keen to continue the male fertility conversation to give men easy-to-understand reasons for their fertility problems and let them take control.
As well as giving men information, we offer more accurate tests to see what is wrong. Male fertility has been under-investigated for too long. We have spent 25 years thinking up better tests for men. Accurate sperm DNA analysis provides a clear picture of a man’s sperm quality to enable men and their partners to take the best steps on their fertility journey.
Investigating Sperm DNA Quality
Although 50% of a baby’s genes come from the man, he only gets about 10% of the attention for his problems. Investigating male infertility has only been disproportionate. But now we are realising that men deserve better.
There are currently very few options with only semen analysis offered as standard.
Semen analysis tests inform us of the quantity, motility, and shape of sperm, but they do not tell us about the sperm quality. Sperm DNA damage is a strong indicator of male fertility, as it can tell couples whether the quality of the sperm is likely to get the female pregnant, or if there’s a high chance of miscarriage. It can also enable healthcare professionals to recommend the fertility treatment most likely to be successful.
It is also possible to improve sperm DNA quality, which is why it’s so important for men to have a test as early as possible.
Here’s our advice to men struggling with fertility issues:
Check your lifestyle and do what you can to improve it. Making simple changes to your lifestyle can vastly improve your sperm quality, increasing your chances of a successful pregnancy. Minimising stress, getting more sleep, staying active and eating a balanced diet are a few easy ways to get started. Find more recommendations on our website.
For online support and information, we love IVF Dad, a podcast about male fertility, HIMfertility, The Man Cave, and Fertility Network UK.
You can also join a support group for male fertility, both online and in-person:
On International Men’s Day let’s keep talking about male fertility with our partners, friends, and family to help break the silence and raise awareness of the options out there.
‘International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.’ – International Men’s Day