Infertility, in both, men and women has become a constantly growing problem, especially in India. Cases of the same have been on a continuous rise and as per estimates, there has been a 20% to 30% rise in infertility in the country in the last five years. The problem is neither an urban phenomenon nor is it confined only to women. In fact, in nearly 30% of all infertility cases, the cause can be attributed to a problem in the man.
The need of the hour is, therefore, to give equal importance to male infertility and create awareness about the condition. Speaking about this, Dr Hrishikesh D Pai, Director IVF & Infertility at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Delhi & Secretary General of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India said, "Infertility is not just a woman's problem and it is important to raise awareness about male infertility and the causative factors. Infertility is broadly used to denote a range of conditions, which affect both men and women." He added, "In men, the most common reasons for infertility include alow sperm count and poor motility of the sperm. Other factors such as excessive consumption of foods that increase estrogen in the blood, long-term inhalation of toxins in the air, erectile dysfunction, early ejaculation of semen, cancer or infection of the genital system and diabetes also contribute to the condition. Increasingly, following an unhealthy lifestyle including diet imbalance, addiction to smoking or alcoholism, sedentary existence, or mental and emotional stress, have all become factors that contribute to a poor sperm count."
Dr Nandita Palshetkar, Director, IVF and Infertility at Fortis Bloom IVF Center at La Femme GK 2 and Fortis Hospital Gurgaon & President-elect of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India said, "Although infertility is still considered to be a woman's problem in India, the fact is that in 30% of the infertility cases, the problem is solely with the male partner. It is, therefore, imperative that even the men get tested and at the earliest. Men usually put off testing to avoid embarrassment." "However, getting diagnosed at an early stage will not only save discomfort and expense but also help in timely treatment. The bright side is that recent medical breakthroughs have helped even men with very few sperms to become fathers. It is also important to make certain lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and drinking, and consuming a healthy diet, all of which can help in preventing infertility and avoiding any possible complications," she added.
Some treatment options for addressing male infertility include Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), PESA, TESA and donor sperms.