One of our resident fertility experts, Doctor Mark Trolice has appeared on US television to discuss the important issue of male infertility. Here is what he had to say…
Mark appeared on WKMG News 6 in Orlando, Florida with morning anchor, Kirsten O’Connor asking the questions.
Recent studies have shown that a man’s age can have a huge impact on how long it takes to get pregnant, some complications and the baby’s health once it is born.
KO: Why should men be concerned about their fertility?
MT: “Women have a biological clock and now we know that men do too. When we see a couple coming to see us, 40 per cent of the time it is the male factor. The issue of male factor is real. What we are seeing now is that men are waiting a little bit longer to have babies. Over the last 40 years the fertility of men has doubled but we are seeing more complications with that. More men above the age of 40 are having children and we are seeing some issues with their fertility.
Men are waiting longer to have children or for finding another partner later in life.
What about testing? What can men do?
Come in and have a fertility semen test. If the sperm analysis is normal then we can give them a pretty good thumbs up that there isn’t a male factor, but not with all certainty. For years we thought that men could procreate, we see in the news Mick Jagger having a child in his 70s, the oldest man was in his 90s. But fertility declines. Men above 40 to 45 take five times longer to impregnate as when they were 25. Miscarriages are higher in offspring, higher rates of preterm delivery, even some birth defects, twice the rate of autism and four to five times rate of schizophrenia. We can’t screen for these things but what we can do is tell men waiting to long they will have these sort of problems.
What about mom’s health?
The woman can have preterm labour, diabetes and high blood pressure. You could make an argument that men could freeze their sperm when they are younger. There is a big trend at the moment for women freezing their eggs. While no medical society advocates that men could do that, it might be something they start to think about.
What can men do to help themselves when trying to conceive?
The best thing that men can do is take care of themselves when trying to have child. Looser fitting undergarments, no extended bike riding, saunas or laptops. The worst thing you can do is to take testosterone as it affect sperm function, good diet, fruit and vegetables, vitamins and supplements, moderate exercise, plastics in water bottles, too much alcohol can cause problems with sperms and impotence. Smoking bad for the men, passive can reduce a woman’s fertility. There is a lot of things men can do to optimise their fertility.