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15% of all infertile Nigerian men have no sperm —Study

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spermMen without sperm make up about 15 per cent of all infertile men in the reproductive age of fatherhood in Nigeria, a study has found.

In a new study, researchers that looked at men’s wives were not getting pregnant after regular and constant unprotected s3xual intercourse found 15 per cent of them actually were without sperms.

The study, which involved semen analysis of 907 men, aged 23 to 73, who presented infertility at three Nigerian cities, Lagos, Asaba and Abuja, discovered that 109 (12.02 per cent), 346 (38.15 per cent) and 452 (49.83 per cent) were azoospermic, oligospermic and normospermic respectively.

Azoospermia, broadly speaking, is the absence of sperm in the ejaculate; oligospermia refers to low sperm count; while normospermia refers to producing spermatozoa normal in number and motility.

Exploring the effect of age, of body mass index (BMI) and of BMI for each age group, they reported that a strong but negative association between sperm concentration and obesity (high BMI).

Overweight and obese men were, respectively, more than one and a half and about two and a half times more likely to be azoospermic compared to normal weight men.

Likewise, the risk of azoospermia in those aged 50 to 59 years was higher among the overweight patients and among obese patients when compared with normal weight men in the same age category.

It is established that overweight and obesity have a negative impact on female fertility but few studies have been able to track the fertility of males.

The 2018 study published in “Open Journal of Urology” involved Dr Abayomi B. Ajayi; Victor D. Ajayi; Ifeoluwa Oyetunji; Oluwafunmilola Biobaku; and Adedamilola Atiba, all at the Nordica Fertility Centre, Lagos, in collaboration with Bamgboye M. Afolabi.

Infertility of either male or female or of both is becoming a serious health problem affecting about 10 per cent of all families worldwide and possibly more in developing countries, probably as high as 25 per cent.

In approximately 50 per cent of couples with involuntary childlessness, a male-infertility-associated factor is observed together with abnormal semen parameters.

There are a variety of conditions that may inhibit sperm production and diminish the production and quality of sperm thus causing men to ejaculate no sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.

It is also a general but erroneous notion that the ability to have and sustain an erection and to engage in a s3xual intercourse with a woman means that men are fertile.

That a man may not produce enough sperm is well documented but not having sperm at all is a serious trepidation not only for the man but also for the family, the community, and the physician.

Studies have also shown a decline in some semen quality with age such as lower ejaculate volume and sperm motility. Some earlier studies have reported a gradual decline in sperm quality in the developed world since the 1970s, with particular reference to sperm count.

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