Male Factor Infertility is in the spotlight and IFAASA is giving you the opportunity to hear from experts in the field about what the latest treatment is, fact vs fiction on causes and how this diagnosis effects the couple emotionally.
In years past, the perception has been that an inability to conceive was attributable to problems with the woman’s reproductive functionality. But researchers like Dr. Liberty Barnes at Cambridge University who recently published the book “Conceiving Masculinity: Male infertility, medicine, and identity,” contradict the idea that this is a women’s issue. Barnes says that of those millions of people trying without success to conceive a child, 30 percent are due female factors, 30 percent are male factors, 20 percent are a combination of male and female factors, and 20 percent of cases of infertility are simply unknown.
Although in the past infertility problems were attributed to the woman, we now know that a male factor plays a significant role. Medical practice and research over recent years indicate that in 30–40% of couples, a male factor is the only reason causing infertility. In another 10–15% of couples a combination of male and female factors contribute to infertility. An infertility investigation should therefore include a thorough assessment of both partners.
Despite the fact that approximately 30% of infertility is attributed 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. Perhaps this is because we traditionally think of children as a woman’s province, or because over the ages, conception has been thought of as the woman’s responsibility.
Infertility is often believed to be a woman’s problem. However, studies indicate that 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems such as structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders. Infertility is a couple’s problem and one that must be faced as a team. This concept is incredibly important as the feelings of the man often get overlooked.