One health issue that most men don’t really want to talk about is fertility or infertility. Many people think that it is a woman’s problem, but it’s not.
Remember the old playground song “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby, and a baby carriage.” Well, that’s how it’s supposed to go, but not every couple has that good fortune. It’s about 50 percent of couples who’ve been trying for about one year to get pregnant will have some level of fertility issues. When there’s a problem conceiving, it turns out that it’s about 50/50, about half of the time it’s a male problem, about half of the time it’s a female problem, and about 10-20 percent of the time this actually a combined problem. Most of the time we give a couple about a year to try to get pregnant naturally before we tend to intervene.
That a lot of times a man will know ahead of time that they might be the cause of the problem. He may have had an undescended testicle, or he may have had some kind of surgery, or he may have had a cancer of the testicle, is something where he might know that there’s an underlying problem. But in many cases, the male partner has no idea. And men don’t go to the doctor, they leave the doctor as adolescents of age 18. Unless they have a problem they really don’t go to the doctor, till they hit about 45 and that is one of the things about men’s health that we really want to focus in on men, making sure that they take care of themselves, like examining their testicles, things like that.
At the center for advanced reproductive services men often find the help they need. We’re really looking for specific issues that are either treatable or reversible. So there are two approaches to how one will address a male factor problem. Number one is to directly to do things to improve the quality of the sperm, so that the couple could get pregnant naturally, the old fashion one. The other approach is to move the sperm closer to the eggs, which would be intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization things like that. And that’s where the reproductive and endocrinology team is extremely helpful with very high success rates at that end of things.
The men come in here to have their semen analysis, which is the first step in the process, usually one of the first steps to evaluating a couple that is experiencing infertility. We take just a very small sample, we put under the microscope and look at the sperm.
A life that can make a new life. It is possible. And they can help at the center for advanced reproductive services. That is a great place that may help most people that go there. It’s really important for men to understand that they are part of the equation and it is a really great place to go, and they can handle all of your questions.