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Male infertility is on the rise—so why aren’t we talking about it?

He characterizes the rapid decline in sperm counts as the canary in the coal mine. He compares the scale of the problem to that of climate change — an issue right in front of us that people would rather fix with technology, rather than explore the root cause. So why is no one talking about it? While men are overstudied in nearly every medical specialty, infertility is an area where experts say the opposite is true. Sperm count, shape and movement, along with blockages in various places like the testicles and vas deferens, can interfere with fertility but not necessarily the ability to have an erection.

Liberty Barnes, a medical sociologist at the University of Oregon, studies how culture shapes ideas about male infertility. Male Infertility, Medicine and Identity.


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She suspects more pervasive ideas tied to masculinity are behind the lack of research, education and awareness of infertility among men. Barnes also found that male infertility specialists themselves were shielding men from the reality of their situations. All of this adds up to a kind of obvious reality: That also means they may not get the emotional support they need when they find themselves in that situation.

Devin Leslie and his wife started trying for a baby as soon as they got married three years ago. After six months, they were overjoyed at the sight of a positive pregnancy test but miscarried a short time later.

Male Infertility - Men Talking

After experiencing difficulty conceiving again, the couple saw two fertility specialists. Leslie discovered that the shape of his sperm was part of the challenge. Ignoring the fact that men can be as invested as women in having children has left them out of the discussions of reproductive health altogether, says Marcia C. Unlike women, who are at the behest of their ticking biological clocks from the moment they have their first period, we are supposed to be able to father a child until our dying days.


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The theory has it that this supreme fertility lends us our reluctance to grow up and accept adult responsibilities: Well, according to the new research, it may be time to put the champagne — or sperm — on ice. Scientists at the McGill University in Canada studied women between the ages of 40 and 46 who, between and , undertook a combined total of IVF cycles. They found that in the couples where the male was and-a-half years old or older, no children were conceived — whereas the women with younger partners went on to have babies. Put simply, men's fertility appears to decrease with age.

We have ticking biological clocks too.

The research was timely. This week is National Fertility Awareness Week in the UK, an occasion that normally heralds a slew of stories about ovaries, with little by comparison focused on their male companions. It's a situation that speaks of the great divide in the way we approach male and female fertility. The potential minefield of gay parenthood.

A new DIY fertility test for men. Male fertility under threat as average sperm counts drop. Go on Twitter and you'll find thousands of women who are openly engaging with infertility issues. For men, the taboo definitely exists. To prove his point, Wannabe Dad suggests Googling around the topic of famous people who have spoken about their infertility issues. The results are populated by stories about female celebrities.

Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica, and Courtney Cox have all had the bravery to speak out about their own stories, while closer to home Kirstie Allsopp has continued to remind women of the difficulty of falling pregnant later in life. CPD consists of any educational activity which helps to maintain and develop knowledge, problem-solving, and technical skills with the aim to provide better health care through higher standards. It could be through conference attendance, group discussion or directed reading to name just a few examples.

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