The crisis of male fertility

Here is the latest news from the world of male fertility: in a recent report of the Institute of Health and Social Problems of Korea the problem of male fertility was raised. According to the institute, the number of men diagnosed with infertility has increased from 22,166 in 2004 to 40,199 in 2011. In 2010 there was an increase of 27.7 percent compared with the previous year. Doctors associate the lowering of fertility with semen-conductivity of vessels. Professor Lee Sung Won (Lee Sung-won) from the Samsung Medical Center, said: "It seems that stress from over-time working and sedentary lifestyle are causing problems with reproductive organs of men." According to him, changes in fashion with a preference for tight-leg trousers could also be a possible cause.

Scientists are concerned that only few people are trying to solve this problem: in 2011 there were 191,205 men and women diagnosed with infertility, but only 86,433 of them sought treatment. The government partially subsidizes the treatment of infertile couples by IVF: more than 40,000 couples received subsidies in 2011. Professor Lee said: "Although there are limited ways to treat male infertility, in vitro fertilization can become the most effective. If couples can’t get a desirable child for a year, they should consult their physicians. "


Unfortunately, the fact discovered by South Korean researchers - is not new already: there is a tendency in the world that male fertility is getting lower. Recently I have given results of French and Spanish studies: according to them, an average level of spermatozoa of young men decreases sharply. Thus, in 1989 an average number of spermatozoa of a 35 years old man was 73.6 million per 1 ml., in 2005 this index decreased to 49.4 million for the 1 ml. In fact, there is a great danger: there is no wonder that topic of male fertility was the key on the last congress of European Association of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), which took place in July in London.

Let me remind you that 40 million of spermatozoa per 1 ml. is liminal normal conception, but if the rate falls below 20 million, it is unlikely that a woman can get pregnant from such a man. The situation is aggravated by the fact that there are not many people who care about their health on time. Therefore, doctors often have to deal with the problem of male infertility in advanced form. Actually, it is recommended to do the sperm’s analysis at least once a year.

As one of the solutions to this problem, experts suggest the procedure of sperm cryopreservation (freezing) at the young age, when male fertility is the highest. However, according to recent studies, the number of sperm cells per 1 ml of semen among people aged of 18 to 25 years is decreasing, so cryopreservation won’t become the solution of the problem. As noted by Professor Li, and it’s pretty sad to admit, but the only way to overcome infertility is IVF, that makes fertilization possible even with low male fertility.