Men’s Health Week, which is being celebrated this year from June 13-19, ends with Father’s Day. It focuses on the overall health and wellness of boys and men. However, an issue that if often overlooked is the sexual health of men. It won’t be wrong to say that if a man is approaching the mid-thirties and has an erratic lifestyle, his chances of fathering a child might be low due to the rising cases of male infertility. And you, my ladies, must also know that.
While society tends to blame the female more in case of their inability to bear a child, it should not be forgotten that the male counterpart plays an important role in the couple’s ability to conceive at all.
What are the first signs?
The World Health Organization (WHO) mentions that if a couple is not able to conceive or fails to get pregnant after 12 months or more of having regular unprotected sexual intercourse, it means the couple is dealing with infertility and needs immediate professional help.
Facts about male infertility
Causes of male infertility can be due to medical, environmental or lifestyle reasons:
It can be because of swelling of veins (varicocele), infections, tumors, hormonal issues, or undescended testicles.
2. Lifestyle related
Habits such as smoking and drinking have a huge impact on male fertility as they can lower the sperm count and testosterone levels. Being overweight too causes hormonal imbalance in men.
If a man is exposed to harmful radiation or heat, his fertility can be impacted Even modern electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops can result in male fertility issues.
New study finds link between weight and male infertility
In a similar development, new research has now claimed that maintaining a healthy body weight during childhood and adolescence could actually prevent male infertility later in life. The findings were presented by the researchers on June 11, at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to the study, children and adolescents who were overweight or had obesity issues in childhood apart from having high levels of insulin or insulin resistance tend to have smaller testicles as compared to children with normal weight and insulin levels.
“More careful control of body weight in childhood and adolescence may help to maintain testicular function later in life,” said lead researcher Rossella Cannarella, MD, University of Catania in Italy, She added that the prevalence of male infertility is increasing while the average sperm count has been reduced by half during the span of last 40 years worldwide.
For those caught unaware, testicular volume (a measure of testicle size) is actually directly linked to sperm count. So, smaller testicles produce less sperm. Reportedly, one-quarter of young men between the age of 18-19 tend to have low testicular volume, or smaller-than-normal testicles, which puts their future fertility at risk.
As per Cannarella, this is happening at a time when the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased.