Male infertility is still somewhat of a taboo topic, and people find it very difficult to openly talk about it. But we can’t ignore the facts. One in every six couples struggle to conceive and male infertility contributes to about 40% of these cases.
To shed some light on the matter, we chatted with clinical embryologist Darren Jones. He was born and bred in Paarl but currently works in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a focus on assisted reproductive technologies.
Despite the challenge to conceive due to infertility, Jones says many cases can be rectified using assisted reproductive treatments.
A source of awkwardness
However, the conversation and engagement on the male sample, how they need to produce, and what they need to do still sets a tone of awkwardness, says Jones.
Male infertility is a condition that can cause stress due to factors such as cultural limitations, where some cultures do not deem it as part of the ‘normal way’ of life. Another stressor, highlighted by Jones, is that society has placed importance on a man’s virility. Therefore, in the face of infertility, men might feel an overwhelming sense of incompetence which can have a domino effect on their relationships and other decision-making factors.
Even though many factors impact how a man’s body makes semen/sperm, it is important to remember that there are ways to improve one’s fertility. These are mainly:
- Aim to live a healthy lifestyle;
- No smoking/drinking;
- No use of drugs or steroids/some over-the-counter medications,
- Consumption of nutritious foods (mainly greens) and multivitamins.
Jones also discusses the financial implications of reproductive procedures and alternative points of access to medical assistance when regarding male infertility.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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