By Sheena Lewis
There is an urgent need to take male fertility seriously and find therapies for men; instead of our “absurd” reliance on giving female partners expensive and invasive IVF treatments to try to overcome the man’s lack of quality sperm: says leading UK fertility expert; Prof Sheena Lewis.
Male fertility tests haven’t changed since the 1930s. Men are being neglected and emasculated. For 25 years, we in Queens University Belfast have been researching how sperm DNA quality relates to fertility treatment success. Sperm DNA fragmentation is a really important test for sperm quality. It should be added to a semen analysis to get the full sperm picture.
Why? Because its sperm DNA is what makes a child look and act like their Dad.
If a man’s sperm DNA is damaged, ART is less likely to work for him and his partner.
Before a man embarks on ART, he should go to see a urologist; a specialist in male fertility. This is just the same as what every woman does when she goes to see her gynaecologist to check out her female fertility. Often a man can improve his sperm; especially his DNA quality with simple interventions: maybe just a change in lifestyle, a course of antibiotics or a small operation to repair a varicose vein on the testes. A urologist will tell him about all his options. Even if the couple goes down the ART later in their fertility journey, having better quality sperm will improve their chances of success.