As you may or may not be aware, International Men's Health Week (MHW) runs until this Sunday June 18. While Irish men have never been known to give a call to the doctor if they feel something is not right, it appears that more and more are accessing semen analysis services in order to check out their fertility.
According to Waterstone Clinic, awareness of the various factors associated with male infertility is rising with a 26% increase in the number of men who are calling in to see them.
Dr Tim Dineen, Head of Laboratory Services at Waterstone Clinic explains:
“When we compare the start of 2017 to the same period three years ago, the numbers of those undertaking semen analysis, where we analyse the health and viability of a man's sperm, are up 26%. This is a sizeable increase. Men are becoming more proactive about their fertility and taking appropriate action.
“Obviously, there is still more work to be done, but this is a step in the right direction. For many men, issues around fertility can be an affront to their masculinity and virility.”
Dr. Dineen moved to put men's fears at ease by adding:
"A semen analysis is a straight forward non-invasive test that assesses a man’s fertility potential. The results give detailed information on sperm quality and quantity. It is important for men to bear in mind that even if the semen analysis shows low sperm numbers, it does not necessarily mean infertility. Simple lifestyle and diet changes can make a big difference to the quality of sperm.”
Dr. Dineen also outlined some simple measures which may prevent a decrease in sperm concentration in men:
“Men should engage in regular exercise to maintain a healthy BMI, as being overweight or underweight can affect fertility. Reduce caffeine intake, so ease off on the flat whites and espressos, and also reduce alcohol intake.
“High temperatures may have a negative impact on sperm and men should take some precautions to prevent sperm from overheating. Men should reduce the amount of time spent in the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, turn off heated car seats, and avoid putting their laptops on their laps. Also, avoid tight jeans, fitted underwear and cycling shorts.”