An Abuja-based Consultant Gynaecologist, Dr Ibrahim Wada, says 20 per cent cases of infertility are found in men.
Wada said this on Wednesday at an Open Day Educative Forum organised by Nisa Premiere Hospital in Abuja with the theme `Infertility and Quality of Life’.
He also said that about 30 to 40 per cent cases of infertility were found in both men and women.
However, the expert said judging by the statistics infertility in men was due to health challenges which were non-negligible.
Wada said infertility was not just the inability to conceive after a regular unprotected sex; rather it was also the biological inability of an individual to contribute to conception.
“Some men can be infertile if they do not produce sperm at all which is referred to as Azoospermia, which means the complete absence of sperm cells in the semen samples.
“It is also possible for the man to produce sperm and still not have enough to contribute to conception, which means a low sperm count called Oligospermia.
“Oligospermia is when the sperm count is 15 million per millimetre of semen; this decreases the odds of one of the sperm cells fertilising the partner’s egg.
“The sperm must be normal and healthy; the morphology of a man’s sperm can be abnormal called Teratozoospermia, which means less than 40 per cent of sperm cells have a normal shape.
“The cause of this condition is often unknown; however, lifestyle choices such as smoking and exposure to toxins are risk factors,’’ he said.
Wada added that the sperm must be able to move, noting that the sperm had to be functional with the ability to move speedily.
He said the condition was called Asthenospermia, which means the progressive motility of the sperm cells was less than 32 per cent and might not be able to reach and penetrate the partner’s eggs.
Other causes of infertility in men include ejaculation issues, hormonal imbalance, erectile dysfunction, obesity, injuries to scrotum, emotional stress, exposure to heavy metals, radiations or chemicals, he said.
The consultant further advised couples to firstly identify a fertility expert in order to get a diagnosis to determine the cause of infertility.
He listed treatment of infections, erectile restoration, hormone treatment, medications and surgeries as the treatments for infertility.
Wada however added that cases where infertility could not be reversed, sperm donor could be considered by couples.