Low Sperm Count Can Lead to Health Issues Other Than Infertility

Worried that low sperm count might hamper your chances at fatherhood?

Turns out it can also make you more prone to health ailments, putting you at an increased risk of illness.

A study which observed 5,177 male partners of couples who were infertile, concluded that those with low sperm count were 20% more prone to high blood pressure, more body fat, low bone mass, more ‘bad’ cholesterol and low levels of testosterone.

The study, led by Dr Alberto Ferlin and his team, studied the link between semen quality and how it is related to general health in men.

The study found that men with lower sperm count were more prone to have metabolic syndrome, which is a collection of risk factors that increase the chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke, as per a report in BBC.

The men, who were studied, were also found to have low testosterone levels.

This is known to increase the risk of reduced bone density, muscle mass and may also cause osteoporosis - a disease that weakens the bones and makes them brittle.

"Infertile men are likely to have important co-existing health problems or risk factors that can impair quality of life and shorten their lives. Fertility evaluation gives men the unique opportunity for health assessment and disease prevention." - Dr Alberto Ferlin, Lead Author, President of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine

The authors underlined that their study did not state that low sperm count caused metabolic problems, but rather that the two were related.

The study studied the link between semen quality and how it is related to general health in men.

"Men of couples having difficulties achieving pregnancy should be correctly diagnosed, and followed up by their fertility specialists and primary care doctor because they could have an increased chance of morbidity and mortality." - Dr Alberto Ferlin, Lead Author, President of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine

The study was presented at the Endocrine Society's 100th annual meeting in Chicago on 18 March.

Also Read: Is Sperm Freezing Your Safety Net Against Infertility?

Rise of Male Infertility in India?

Infertility is on the rise in India with about 27.5 million couples, who are actively trying to get pregnant, suffering from it.

Of the couples who are struggling with infertility, 30-40 percent cases are due to male infertility.

Men start losing the quantity as well as the quality of sperms soon after their 30s. Factors like unhealthy lifestyles, diseases, injury, hormonal imbalance are some of the leading causes for male infertility. 

A study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) concluded that while the sperm count of a normal Indian adult male used to be 60 million per ml around three decades ago, it now stands at around 20 million per ml.

(With inputs from BBC)

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