Unspoken: Men and Infertility

Male infertility is a crippling problem for men of a certain age and life stage: If you’re at peak procreation age and ready to start a family yet having difficulty conceiving, your situation can by physically, emotionally and financially draining. Consider this: In just about half of cases, a couple’s infertility problem is due to the man, yet only 18 percent — just under a fifth — of men undergo any type of evaluation. This may be due to a lack of understanding of the problem, doctors not referring the patients to the appropriate male infertility physician, embarrassment, denial or something else entirely.

Male infertility is defined as the inability to have a child after trying for one full year. The causes can be genetic problems, hormonal problems, or life style problems such excess smoking, alcohol and drugs to name a few.

As with any problem this significant and common, there’s good news and bad news regarding male infertility. The good news is it’s never far from the front pages: Just last month, scientists in China used stem cells to create sperm.

The other side is that it’s also increasingly clear that although infertility might be an infuriating nuisance during one’s prime parenting years, it’s also shown to be associated with higher rates of cancers and hormonal abnormalities like low testosterone.

The bottom line: For couples having problems with infertility, BOTH partners in the relationship should undergo an evaluation not just the woman. Many causes of male infertility can be treated and there is hope if the correct specialist is used.

Remember that upsetting statistic cited above: Just 18 percent of men afflicted by fertility problems seek medical help. Dr. Paul Gittens is a certified expert on male infertility, and a visit to the Philadelphia Center for Sexual Medicine for a consultation with him might just turn into the life-changing session you never thought possible. Get in touch today for the benefit of your current health, your future health — and perhaps even the health of your future offspring.

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