Career, money, sexual victories, sports and good physical shape for many men are much more important issues than the need for procreation. This territory is unofficially assigned to women. Meanwhile, in the past 20 years, the number of men in the world, who are not able to conceive children is rapidly increasing, despite the visible signs of success and well-being.
In the modern world, men, unfortunately, quickly lose their fertility. It is to note, that we are not talking about potency, or ability to have a normal intercourse; fertility is the ability to conceive children. Research data suggests that the ability of men to conceive children is rapidly decreasing. Twenty years ago the male factor occurred in 10-15% of all cases. Today – it is 50/50, in other words half of infertility cases in married couples are attributable to male problems. These are not entirely correct numbers, because before that there was no accurate diagnostics and even theoretical chances to “cure” infertility, therefore, some couples were not always taken into account in the “problem” statistics.
There are disappointing statistics accumulated in the process of research, which is conducted daily in the clinics “Mother and Child”. For example, spermogram. These are quantitative and qualitative indicators of healthy sperm motility, showing its fertilizing ability. Today, normal semen is a rarity. Just 15 years ago, the optimal rate of concentration was 120 million sperm cells per 1 ml of ejaculate, but over the past 15 years, the rates have been revised three times towards decreasing.
At the same time, only a few sperm cells are sufficient for conception using IVF. It has been strongly emphasized that inability to conceive and erectile dysfunctions are completely different things, unrelated phenomena, which practically never overlap.
There are no obvious, identified reasons for the massive decline in male fertility. There are only theories. For example, the theory that spermatogenesis is negatively affected by carbon dust, all sorts of artificial materials, mobile phones, and in general by the fact that our civilization increasingly depends on technology and “gadgets.” There is an opinion that makes feminists rather rub their hands, that the Y chromosome, which determines the male sex, is gradually degrading, and this affects the quality of sperm in men. There are many theories. But there is no right answer to this question right now. Doctors can only treat the cause.
However, there is what we know for sure. For example, intensive bodybuilding with the use of anabolic agents is a powerful blow to spermatogenesis. It looks like an apparent paradox. Men tend to look as masculine as possible. In all cultures and animal communities, males do this to attract females. The purpose of such changes, in fact, is to leave behind as many offspring as possible. But as a result, such “super men” with a set of muscles have problems with hormonal activity, and their ability to fertilize the “female” tends to zero. Such cases are an example that instincts sometimes prevail over the common sense.
Of the traditional proven factors affecting male fertility – complicated viral parotitis (mumps) and some other infections. The promiscuous sex life may in the future backfire with sterility. However, this concerns not only men, but also women. In women, a common cause of reduced fertility is complications after chlamydia, in men, chronic, often invisible, but under-treated sexually transmitted infections.
Interestingly, the factor of fertility is not always associated with age, potency, and overall general health. Young sportive guys may have zero sperm cells.
At the same time, an ordinary man aged 50-55 years in terms of reproductive functionality can be absolutely normal, and even “excellent.” The famous saying “the old horse will not spoil the furrow” can also be relevant in the modern world.
In any case, only a doctor can figure out the extent to which a man is “macho” in terms of his ability to spread his genes. Reproductive endocrinologists at the network of medical centers “Mother and Child” highly recommend to pass the sperm count test before marriage. It will be fair to the future spouse and to the man himself. In addition, the sooner the problem is detected, the bigger chances are to treat it by taking appropriate measures. But do not forget that the fluctuations in the spermograms are very natural, so do not panic too early.
In recent years, an increasingly big number of men who are going to the war zone in Eastern Ukraine ask fertility specialists to cryopreserve their sperm, or, more simply, “to freeze it.” They need a guarantee that even if they return from a war with a severe wound, they will be able to become fathers of “biological” children in the future. Cryopreservation of sperm is a simple, reliable procedure that became almost a routine for many doctors.
In general, the cryopreservation of genetic material, the backup for the future is an important and actively developing area of reproductive medicine. This is especially true for women who have a limited time frame. At the age of about 35 years, the quality and number of ovules is significantly reduced in women. In men impaired spermatogenesis is not directly related to age. If a man leads a normal life, then up to 50-60 years of age his spermatogenesis should not be compromised.
However, there are situations when “freezing” is simply necessary so that a man can have healthy children. For example, today, as you know, there is an increase in the number of oncological diseases. Fortunately, they are already fairly well treated. However, the consequence of this treatment is the death of reproductive sperm cells. Such patients, after having recovered, have the opportunity to use their frozen sperm cells or eggs, which can be stored for years and at the same time not lose their properties.