MOTILITY BOOST FOR MEN
FERTILE AID FOR MEN
SPERM MOTILITY BOOSTER
SPERMAGGEDDON! Men are becoming gravely infertile.
Is the human race doomed?
Fresh fears that the human species face imminent extinction have emerged following findings from a new study showing that the quality of men’s sperm all around the world is rapidly declining due to pollution, sedentary lifestyle and junk food. Junk food, lack of exercise, pollution killing sperm quality globally. Public health warning that junk food, lack of exercise and pollution may be fueling the spermaggeddon (sperm death) crisis.
The experts say sedentary lifestyles lower sperm production, while cheap and saturated fats found in junk food are known to harm sperm counts. They are warning that more men will become infertile over time, threatening the future.
A man’s sperms carry half the genetic material necessary to make a complete human being. A woman’s egg holds the other half. But this alarm in reproductive health circles is not new.
All over the world, reports of declining sperm quality and increasing male infertility attributable to low sperm count and poor sperm motility and morphology have been making the rounds.
The latest findings reveal that men’s sperm quality is falling every year due mainly to unhealthy health habits and sedentary lifestyle and health experts are worried that modern life is destroying male fertility.
“Fertility clinics found that the number of moving sperm—or ‘swimmers’—in men’s samples has dropped by 1.8 per cent each year. Measuring ‘swimmers’ is seen as a better way of judging fertility than sperm count alone.
“Our change to a more sedentary lifestyle has no doubt had an effect, as has our diet because men tend to eat far more rubbish than they did a generation ago.”
Sedentary lifestyles are believed to lower sperm production, while cheap and saturated fats found in junk food are known to harm sperm counts. Sperm counts have been on the decline for more than 50 years and many factors are responsible. The trend is essentially a reflection of the inherently detrimental effect to sperm production of environmental and lifestyle changes over the past half century or more. Increasingly, experts have been reporting incidences of men with genetically fragile sperms. Such sperm have fragmented DNA chains, which make them to be of low quality and less capable of fertilisation.
“We are seeing more men who are having bad sperms, weak sperms and abnormal sperms, and there is a real need to explore a suitable intervention to meet the growing proportion of men that need help in this direction,”
“There are many things in the environment causing what is described as oestrogenisation of men. Things such as paint, exposure to petrol and even insecticides can affect sperm count. Men working in fuel stations, for instance, are known to suffer from low sperm counts.”
“Our grandfathers had higher sperm count than our fathers who had higher sperm counts than our generation.
Clinical records show that in Nigeria, 25 percent of couples are infertile, and that half of the causes are due to male factor issues.
There have been several cases of male infertility and approximately 30 percent of infertility attributable to male factors, in many cases, it appears that men are not as willing or as able as their female partners to talk about their experience. When a man is involved, in countries like Nigeria, it is treated in secret. Men contribute a lot to the challenge of fertility as findings have shown that, every year, there is 30 percent decline in sperm count.
Although there are many factors causing infertility, sperm count appears to be decreasing worldwide and no one knows why it is so. “We don’t know why ‘but that is what we have seen. Comparing the sperm of people who presented 10 years ago to the sperm count of people who are presenting now. It is obvious to us that there had been about 30 percent decline. It is like, every year, there is 30 percent decline in sperm parameter. There is no doubt that sperm is a big issue all over the world.”
Quality of sperm Experts pointed out that one out of every four Nigerian couples will experience delay in getting pregnancy, saying that if 100 couples have intercourse at once, only about 20 percent will conceive.
Experts stressed, that a man’s fertility generally, relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm are of a poor quality, it will be difficult, and, sometimes, impossible for him to cause pregnancy. Studies have shown that infertility is a widespread problem. For about one in every five infertile couples, the problem lies solely in the male partner. It is also estimated that one in every 20 men has some kind of fertility problem with low numbers of sperm in his ejaculate. However, only about one in every 100 men has no sperm in his ejaculate.
(SPERM) FERTILITY ALERT:
Sperm quality was declining.
All over the world, reports of declining sperm quality and increasing male infertility attributable to low sperm count and poor sperm motility and morphology are making the rounds. Indeed, it is becoming more challenging for the typical African, Asian, American or European male to reproduce his own kind. Normally, a man’s fertility declines as he ages, but the current rate of decline as a result of poor sperm parameters is significant.
So what could be responsible for this rapid decline?
With 40 percent of fertility issues being male related, male infertility is becoming more predominant as a result of men being diagnosed with low sperm count and poor motility, more frequently, the man is being identified as the reason why couples are not getting pregnant.
Approximately two thirds of infertile men have sperm production problems, either because enough sperm is not being made, or the sperm is not functioning properly or a combination of both problems.
The reasons are not far-fetched.
They range from our increasingly stressful lifestyles, poor diet and environmental factors. Experts gathered that apart from the genetic nature of the problem of male infertility, lifestyle issues are involved. For instance it is now known that drastic reduction in men’s sperm counts is being driven by a deadly combination of estrogenic (feminising) toxins in the food supply; harmful chemicals in the environment, and poor lifestyle. A man’s sperms carry half the genetic material necessary to make a complete human being. A woman’s egg holds the other half. Increasingly, experts are reporting incidences of men with genetically fragile sperms. Such sperm have fragmented DNA chains, which make them to be of low quality and less capable of fertilisation.
Male infertility can be caused by various factors such as:
- hormone disorders
- injury to reproductive anatomy
- obstruction or sexual dysfunction, etc.
These factors can temporarily or permanently affect sperm and prevent conception. Some disorders become more difficult to treat the longer they persist without infertility treatment.
Clinical records show that in Nigeria, 25 percent of couples are infertile, and that half of the causes are due to male factor issues. An assessment of hospital data from leading tertiary health institutions revealed that over 90 percent of male infertility cases are either due to low sperm counts or poor sperm quality, or a combination of both.
What is normal sperm count?
The average sperm count is between 120 – 350 million per cubic centimetre. A low sperm count is below 40 million per cubic centimetre. However, a “normal” sperm count will have an overall volume of at least 1.5ml, a density of more than 15 million sperm per ml and motility of at least 40 per cent and a proportion of normal forms of three to four per cent or greater. That is not to say that couples with a lower sperm count won’t get pregnant – after all, it just takes one sperm – just that the chances of pregnancy are reduced by low sperm counts or sperm that do not swim well.
The complete absence of sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) can be either because of a blockage in the organ that stores and nourishes sperm as they mature (epididymis) or in the long tube that transports sperm cells from the epididymis to the testicles (vas deferens), or a problem with the actual production of sperm in the testicles. Abnormal morphology (the shape of the sperm) and poor motility (how they move) can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. The sperm need good motility to be able to swim well and survive for a number of hours in the female reproductive tract. If they do meet an egg, abnormal-looking sperm might be incapable of fertilising it.
Antibodies are the body’s natural defence against foreign objects.
They are part of the immune system. Sometimes a woman’s immune system can identify sperm as foreign and develop antibodies against them. A man can even develop antibodies against his own sperm – an issue most common in men who have had a vasectomy reversal. The antibodies can attack the sperm by paralysing them, causing them to clump together or coating them so that they can’t fertilise the egg. Antibodies will be found in the semen, the cervical mucus, or either partner’s blood.
Tips to boost perm count:
- Get your rest.
- Improve your diet
- Keep your weight in check and
- drink plenty of water, too
- Reduce stress, as it can interfere with the hormones that assist in sperm production
- If you smoke, quit today
- Reduce alcohol consumption or stop drinking altogether.
- Exercise regularly
Causes of male infertility
“Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. About two-thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes. Either low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperm that are made do not work properly. “Sperm transport problems are found in about one in every five infertile men, including men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children. Blockages (often referred to as obstructions) in the tubes leading sperm away from the testes to the penis can cause a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen”.
For known causes of male infertility, experts have also identified
- sperm production problem,
- chromosomal or genetic causes,
- undescended testes,
- varicocele (varicose veins of the testes),
- medicines and chemical, and
- radiation damage.
- “Current studies have shown that, after 45 years, a man begins to have issues with sperm. At that age, a man may experience two heads and two tales sperm.
Things that can dispose men to infertility Ajayi listed them to include
- complications of sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, such as Chlamydl;
- trauma alcohol ingestion, which, according to him, can slow down sperm;
- cocaine ingestions;
- drugs for body building, tight pants; and
- cigarette smoking.
- long-distance travelling drivers could suffer infertility due to their sitting position which is usually close to the engine of their vehicles.
Childless marriage: I was on the verge of committing suicide — Frustrated lawyer
My wife became my punching bag …I never knew I was the cause of our barreness By Chioma Obinna AS Emeka Umeh and his two-year-old triplets walked into one of the popular supermarkets in Ago area of Lagos, everyone turned to his direction, beaming with smile and admiration for the children. He cuddled one of the triplets while the rest were busy running round the supermarket, as their mother went about shopping for the family’s need. Clad in a straight-cut blue jeans and sky blue shirt, it was obvious that the father of the children was amused by his toddlers’ activities, judging from the expression on his face. Not many knew that the arrival of the triplets has transformed the life of the 58-year-old man from that of anxiety, uncertainty and frustration, to a fulfilled individual, after 14 years of childlessness. For Emeka, the gift of his triplets was the best life can offer, as he flaunted them anytime and anywhere. His years of endless wait were so traumatic that he almost killed his former wife, Chiamaka, over her inability to become pregnant and was himself on the verge of committing suicide. Stormy first marriage His matrimonial home could best be described then as hell on earth. No week passed without friends and relatives visiting to settle quarrels, as Emeka, an accomplished lawyer, became a wreck. Unable to control his emotions, the 10 years union crashed, with both parties going their separate ways. Emeka shares his story with anyone who cares to listen. In an emotion laden voice, he recounts his travails. “I never knew it could be better. I never knew Chiamaka and I were wasting our lives. I turned her into a punch bag. The frustration was so much that one day I thought of committing suicide. To say I became a beast within a twinkle of an eye was an understatement. It got to a point I wondered if I was under a spell when I approached my wife for marriage. There was no derisive name I did not call her. Ashawo (harlot), witch, barren, bad luck and foolish, were just samples. There were no hurtful things I did not say or do to her because she could not conceive. But I never knew I was the cause of the problem. Our once envied marriage became a jest before our neighbours. All my friends kept advising me to take it easy but I was blinded by my ego as a man,” he said amidst tears. “Chiamaka was my best friend from secondary school through university. We had memorable days. We were ready to get married after our youth service and also have children as quickly as possible. But when a year passed and there was nothing, worries began. By the second year, we got anxious, and by the third, fourth, and fifth years, I became frightened. “Chiamaka went for several tests alone but doctors told her she was okay clinically that she should exercise little patience. A year after, nothing changed. She went to other places but I refused to accompany her. It infuriated me so much because I never imagined I had a problem. I have always believed that it was always the women that have problem of infertility. This was the beginning of our problems. “One evening, my mother came from the village. After the dinner she summoned both of us in the sitting room for a talk. I was not surprised that she came because of our problem and was not disappointed when she let the cat out of the bag. Chiamaka narrated how she went for medical examination and I refused to go. This statement also infuriated my mother. She was angry and said to my wife to buckle up and give her a grandchild. ‘Do you know how many children I have? It runs in the family to procreate and there is no way my son will be infertile,’ she said angrily. From that night, the relationship between my mother and Chiamaka became sour. All through the five days she stayed with us in Lagos, my wife had it rough. There was nothing she could do to appease my mother. My mother even called her names and threatened that she must leave because according to her, a man does not get married to a man. If it was possible to exhaust tears from one’s eyes, my former wife would have ran out of tears,” he narrated with regrets in his voice. With the kind of support Emeka enjoyed from his mother, he had nothing to worry about. “As if I was given a medical certificate showing Chiamaka was barren, I became more hostile to her. I beat her at any little provocation. This continued until my family encouraged us to have the marriage dissolved and then, my mother had already arranged a marriage proposal between me and my current wife,” he said with tears. However, although, Emeka’s family members were against the decision by his mother to arrange another wife even when the first marriage was not terminated, the long years of childlessness was brought to an end by that step taken by his mother. The new wife, Ngozi, was also educated but more pushy. When one year elapsed, she called Emeka that they needed to see a doctor together, apparently too afraid to allow the situation to degenerate to what happened in his first marriage. Nonchalant attitude Emeka continued with the nonchalant attitude and claimed to be virile. Ngozi went to a popular fertility clinic on the Island but she was urged to bring her husband because they could only be treated as a couple. Ngozi visited another clinic where she was put on treatment. One day, Emeka was about reversing his black Rav4 SUV, after dropping Ngozi when the doctor came out and waved at him to stop. The doctor tried to persuade him to give it a trial but Emeka declined and drove off. Back home, Emeka however, gave a deep thought to the issue. He recalled his activities with women while in school but could not trace anywhere or anytime any of them claimed to have been impregnated by him even though he never used condom or any form of contraceptives. Opening up to Good Health Weekly, he said: “I thought over the doctor’s words for six weeks and compared it with my activities with women; I then decided to visit the doctor secretly.” He walked into the hospital alone one Monday morning to run some tests and the doctor was apprehensive. It turned out that Emeka had zero sperm count also called azoospermia. On seeing the results Emeka broke into tears.”I was surprised that I have been the problem all these years.” He pleaded with the doctor not to tell his wife. However, the doctor congratulated him for coming in the first place and promised not to tell his wife but encouraged him to tell his wife. “I am not a marriage counsellor but do you know that there is treatment for this condition and you need your wife’s support,” the doctor said. Emeka was again faced with the challenge of telling his wife. It took him a long time to do the needful. He had sleepless nights thinking over it. “I took my time to work on my wife. One Saturday, I took her to Domino Pizza because she loves eating pizza. Although she was like, “Ah! Honey this one that you volunteered without persuasion to buy me pizza?” I just smiled and said “my love it’s okay. “That was when I summoned the courage to tell her about my infertility problem. Although, it was difficult to convince her, my wife accepted my apology and broke down in tears.” The following week, they both went back to the hospital to see the doctor. There and then, Emeka started treatment for low sperm count. Although, before now, Emeka claimed that he had been on special supplements to boost his sperm but experts say there is nothing like boosting of sperm. Emeka was then presented with different options. USING FERTILITY BOOSTER restored happiness in Emeka’s marriage Emeka and his wife successfully went through the first IVF cycle, they had five good embryos and three were implanted because of the age of the woman. It was successful as after three weeks his wife tested positive. And nine months after, she gave birth to triplets; two boys and a girl. The babies came out in good health condition and Emeka’s problem was solved. Woman’s responsibility Emeka’s story is one out of thousands of marriages where women are sometimes derided, scorned and ridiculed when the union could not produce an offspring. Many Nigerian women suffer unnecessarily due to delay in having children which may not necessarily be their fault. Sometimes, the man is the cause of the problem. Clinical findings have shown that men also suffer infertility due to a number factors. Hope abounds for even men with zero sperm count – Ajayi who pointed out that infertility is inability to conceive or produce offspring despite having regular unprotected sex said technology has made it possible for men with as low as 40,000 sperm count to have children instead of the average sperm count of 15 million. Findings have shown that nearly 25 percent of Nigerian couples are affected. Experts claim that 40 to 45 percent of all consultations in gynaecological clinics are infertility-related. Although, there have been several cases of male infertility and approximately 30 percent of infertility attributable to male factors, in many cases, it appears that men are not as willing or as able as their female partners to talk about their experience. When a man is involved, in countries like Nigeria, it is treated in utmost secrecy. Fertility regulation Ajayi pointed out that one out of every four Nigerian couples will experience delay in getting pregnancy, saying that if 100 couples have intercourse at once, only about 20 percent will conceive. A reproductive Hormone and Fertility Regulation expert, Mr. Bamiro Babajide, in a report explained that male infertility accounts for 40 percent of cases and a critical factor in childlessness. Available data over 20 years have shown that in approximately 30 percent of such cases, pathology is found in the man alone, and in another 20 percent both the men and women are abnormal. Therefore the male infertility is partly responsible between 40 -50 percent cases of infertility among couples. Babajide identified chronic consumption of alcohol, use of anabolic steroid, excessive stress and overly intense exercise as causes of both infertility and testicular shrinkage. Also speaking, Consultant Gynaecologist, Dr. Victor Ajayi, noted that: