Male Infertility

Male infertility is more common than we think

ABC RN article Male infertility is more common than we think. By Sophie Kesteven and Lindy Raine for Big Ideas Thu 14 Jul 2022


The article says “Often, female infertility is considered first. But male infertility and subfertility is very common. In fact, it affects one in 20 Australian men of reproductive age.” “like many aspects of health, male fertility is affected by lifestyle and environmental factors. Dr Deidre Mattiske, a research fellow at the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne, says diet, smoking, stress and sleep patterns can all affect fertility.”

Fertility SA’s Dr Bruno Radesic has spoken at length about this topic, saying, “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,

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 advise 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,.

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.

You can listen to the full podcast with Dr Radesic’s commentary here:

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