A fertility and reproductive health expert has alerted that men should be more careful with some social habits they indulge in, as such are increasing their risk of coming down with low sperm count.
Speaking with PUNCH HealthWise on Thursday in an exclusive interview, Dr. Ibrahim Wada, president, Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health (AFRH), warned that social habits, such as smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse and working in hot environments are possible factors leading to low sperm counts in men.
The AFRH president said that even though the roles played by these social habits are difficult to quantify, studies have shown that they negatively affect sperm production in men.
“We are talking about smoking, alcoholism, addiction or abuse of drugs and working in hot environments. These are the things that need to be talked about but the contributions and roles they play are uncertain and very difficult to quantify,” Wada said.
The reproductive expert also stated that infection is also a major factor for low sperm count in men.
He said, “If a man had an infection of the testes called mumps, which is a viral infection, when he was young, it may destroy a part of the testes. It means the man cannot produce enough sperms, thereby leading to low sperm count.
“In adult life, when a man becomes sexually active and contracts infections like gonorrhoea, chlamydia and other related sexually transmitted diseases, it may also destroy or affect parts of the testes.
“It may even block vas deferens, the tube where the sperms pass into the urethra during ejaculation. By and large, people have gone sterile because of chromosomal abnormalities. If you are a man and your chromosomes are not balanced, you are not capable of producing sperms like everyone else,” he warned.
He further disclosed that there are also people who are born with their testes held up in the abdominal walls.
“It is called ‘cryptorchidism’. It is not so common but it is a problem on its own. If detected early by the family or doctor, something can be done to bring back the testes to the scrotum in the first two years of the baby’s life. Otherwise, it may destroy the testes and result in the man having low or no sperm count at all.
Wada emphasised that the essence of raising such alarm was not to scare people but to give people a panoramic view of what might happen when there is a challenge with the testes.