Infertility is a global problem, affecting approximately 15 % of couples of reproductive age. It is estimated that globally,. 60-80 million couples suffer from infertility every year, of which approximately 15-20 million are in India alone. Male factor contributes to infertility as much as 51.2% according to a large. World Health Organization (WHO) study of more than 8500 couples.
In the last two decades, reproductive health of men has taken a serious beating considering a host of factors. Which can be ascribed to a faulty lifestyle. It is a serious problem of modern day lifestyle today. Till a decade back, male infertility accounted for around 20%-25% childless couples which has now risen to over 50%.
Infertility is a serious problem in India, both among men and women. It has been a common myth, especially in the Indian society that infertility is always due to the problems in women. With rising awareness, however, this myth is slowly dissipating as more and more men are opening themselves up to being tested and understanding the repercussions of ignoring it however, it is equally due among both the sexes. Statistics say that infertility conditions account for nearly 40% respectively among men and women.
A couple who fails to achieve conception even after a year of unprotected intercourse is considered infertile. While 40-50 percent of the recorded cases of infertility are as a result of female bodily conditions, around 20 percent include abnormal sperm conditions and the rest are classified as unidentified factors.
The experts say that, “The number of infertility cases in men that they used to see even five years ago would be far and few. Now, the number has gone up by almost three folds,” It is no longer an urban phenomenon, nor is it confined to women.
In a modernized society, the problem of infertility has widened its reach that has impacted men, due to urban settings. Increasing infertility rates are based on the lifestyle changes resulting in stress and obesity caused by lack of physical exercise, changes in eating habits and pollution accompanied by medical disorders like diabetes. Smoking is also a prime factor that influences the level of fertility. Similarly, alcohol too has an adverse effect fertility of men.
A medical survey conducted in various cities in India revealed a shocking truth. That rate of infertility is more among the IT professionals. According to the survey about 15 out of 100 couples from this sector faces infertility. And 40% of such cases are related to male infertility.
The amphibian lifestyle followed by the IT professionals, irregular food habits, more consumption of junk foods etc. Excess stress and hectic lifestyle and excess of smoking, addiction to alcoholism etc. are also reasons for this rise in the infertility rate. All these factors lead to generation of excessive free radicals in the body. Excessive free radicals reduce sperm formation leading to male infertility.
The most common causes for Male Infertility in India are:
1. Hormone imbalance: Low testosterone and other hormonal problems have a number of possible underlying causes.
2. Sexual problems: Problems like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse, anatomical abnormalities and relationship problems that interfere with sex can lead to infertility.
3. Medication: Testosterone replacement therapy, cancer medications, some ulcer drugs among other medications can impair sperm production and decrease male fertility.
4. Varicocele: A varicocele is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle, and is the most common reversible cause of male infertility.
5. Infection: Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) can interfere with sperm production or sperm health or can cause scarring that blocks the passage of sperm.
6. Tumors: Cancers and non-malignant tumors can affect the male reproductive organs directly, through glands that release hormones related to reproduction
7. Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy also affects male fertility.