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Issue 137 Autumn 2020

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2020 > Hot topics


Self-reported adverse lifestyle factors in men with sub-fertility

| Hot topics



Sperm counts are falling, fertility is declining, and there are no pharmacological interventions to improve sperm quality. Add to that COVID-19 and the human race is clearly doomed. Jayasena et al. describe lifestyle factors (LSFs) in a cohort of 1,149 male partners of couples under investigation for sub-fertility. Factors such as smoking, recreational drug use, alcohol, caffeine intake and obesity are known to affect fertility. In this study, 70% of men reported one or more LSFs affecting fertility, and 29% reported two or more. Education also correlated with sperm count, with those men achieving undergraduate education or higher having a higher sperm count. When asked, 79% of the men expressed a desire for more information about how to improve fertility, such as leaflets, videos, online educational resources and more education at schools. There is evidence that reducing some of these factors improves sperm count, but no prospective studies currently show improvements in fertility. These data suggest, however, that optimising health by providing early health education and educational resources when considering fertility may be an effective strategy. Hopefully, there will be follow-up data to show efficacy of such an approach in the future.

Read the full article in Clinical Endocrinology 93 312−321




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