Dubai, UAE: One in five couples living in the UAE faces infertility-related issues and in almost 50 per cent cases, men are the contributing factor, a recent study conducted across the UAE has revealed. Medical practitioners pin the blame on stress, obesity, smoking and other habits representing an unhealthy lifestyle.
The study also revealed that men in the UAE have a high awareness about fertility and their reproductive health.
The study conducted by the Bourn Hall Fertility Centre, Dubai, found that men in the UAE are quite aware of the ‘rights and wrongs’ of their reproductive health, potentially indicating a more tolerant and broad-minded approach towards the subject. The study, aimed at gauging the fertility awareness among men, was conducted across several nationalities between ages 25 and 56, focusing on issues such as active and passive smoking, exercise and obesity, keeping laptops on laps for long hours, stress and the effect of tight underwear on sperm production.
Dr David Robertson, group medical director of Bourn Hall Fertility Centre, said: “It’s interesting to note that on most counts, participants’ answers indicated that they understood the factors that could lead to infertility.”
He added: “We hope such studies will be instrumental in changing attitudes and behaviour of men towards the issue, since it shows that men are now willing to address their reproductive problems, instead of brushing them under the carpet. Such surveys will also help dispel myths surrounding men’s infertility. For example, we saw that an overwhelming 84 per cent agreed that when a couple is unable to conceive, the problem is not always with the female partner. Similarly, 91 per cent of the participants understood the negative effects of passive and active smoking on fertility, even if it’s less than 10 cigarettes a day.”
The survey also revealed that men realised the significance of wearing looser underwear and pants (84 per cent said wearing tight underwear could lead to infertility issues) as well as the negative effects of working on a laptop while keeping it on one’s lap (72 per cent believe it can be harmful).
“The optimum temperature for sperm production has to be slightly cooler than our regular body temperature,” explained Dr David, “And tight underwear can raise that temperature, resulting in poor sperm motility, leading to fewer or abnormal sperm production. Similar is the case when resting heated laptop on one’s lap or exposing one’s self to heated Jacuzzi water for long and regular periods.”
Interestingly, the research found the opinion split over the impact of increasing age on fertility. More men (56 per cent) believe that a man’s age can negatively affect couple’s chances of fertility, while 44 per cent believe that it does not. However, age is not a significant contributing factor in men, despite the fact that sperm quality can decrease with age, Dr Robertson pointed out.
© Gulf NewsFeb 2017