It turns out that fertility issues do not discriminate between the sexes, and when couples are having trouble conceiving, in about 50% of cases there is a fertility issue with the male partner.
Fertility SA specialist Dr Bruno Radesic says men are often reticent to talk about and deal with such issues, but events like International Men’s Health Week this June, give men the chance to address a wide range of health issues including fertility.
In this Fertility SA podcast he explains the kinds of factors that can have an impact on male fertility, the lifestyle changes that can help with conception and the treatments available when needed.
“Fertility is a complex area of medicine and there are a lot of factors that can contribute to male fertility. Age, environment, toxins, illness, reproductive disorders and lifestyle factors such as weight, drinking and smoking, all play a role,” Dr Radesic said.
“We do talk about lifestyle a lot with men because most men and their partners don’t realise just how significant an impact they can have. We know that smoking and drinking can have negative impacts on sperm quality, but stimulants such as caffeine and energy drinks can also be harmful. But these lifestyle factors can be changed to help a couple conceive.”
An example of how South Australian men can be mindful of their health if they are wanting to have a baby with their partner comes from the farming community.
“I travel to the country a lot to help people with fertility issues. One of the groups susceptible to issues with sperm quality is farmers and it is solely related to spraying crops. So we advice young men to always wear protective clothing, but to consider getting someone else to spray if they want to have a baby soon. We’ve seen that farmers who stop their exposure to sprays regularly see a return of their sperm quality,” he said.
Dr Radesic said men should also know that although fertility is complex, there is a wide range of treatment options available, depending on the issue.
“There are lots of options which we openly discuss with our patients after we have conducted some tests. In addition to lifestyle changes we have a range of medical interventions and hormonal treatments to help men realise their desire to start or expand their family.”
Listen to the full podcast.