Many men are unaware of their infertility risk factors, according to research. The findings come from a survey of Canadian men who could identify only about half of the activities and medical conditions that can harm sperm and reduce fertility.
The men had greater knowledge about infertility risk factors like cancer, smoking, and steroid use, but were unfamiliar with the impact of obesity, cycling, and laptop use directly on the lap.
Study leader Phyllis Zelkowitz explained, “Men aren’t as inclined to ask questions about their health, so it stands to reason that they would be less well-informed about their fertility.”
Nearly one-third of the men in the survey had concerns about fertility and 60 percent reported they wanted more knowledge about male infertility.
Zelkowitz added, “Infertility can be devastating for people. When men can’t have children, or have to undertake very expensive treatments, it can have a grave psychological impact. It can lead to depression and put severe stress on relationships.”
The subject of fertility is usually discussed with women in mind, but unfortunately many men go throughout their lives without being fully aware of their own risk of being infertile. More efforts should be made for raising awareness and educating males about factors affecting their fertility, so that they can take the necessary steps towards reducing their risk.
The findings were published in Human Reproduction.