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Western Sperm Counts on the Decline but We Shouldn't Lose Hope

December 7, 2017
Katie Visco

We have bad news: Western sperm counts are declining. Many elements might be to blame for this: environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and the increase of obesity. But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll never get pregnant. Don't worry, we'll walk you through this!

Where is this happening? 

This is happening everywhere in the Western world. A study published in Human Reproduction Update found that across Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, sperm counts have declined by 50 to 60 percent since 1973. 

This is a universal problem, although the causes of infertility might differ depending on where you are. In the Middle East, for example, the high rate of smoking in males and certain genetic defects are mostly to blame for infertility. The Middle East has been coping with male infertility for a long time. Islamic clerics were among the world's first religious leaders to support IVF as a treatment for marital infertility. Today, the Middle East is one of the strongest sectors of IVF in the world. Consequently, there is arguably less of a stigma of male infertility.

So what can be done?

As reproductive technology improves, we have more options than ever to build the family we want. But infertility isn't always an incurable condition. Making simple lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking or losing excessive weight, can improve your reproductive health. Other causes of infertility can be corrected through surgical interventions. Understanding the cause of your infertility is crucial to repairing it. 

If you can afford it, fertility treatments are available to help you create the family you desire. But the emotional and psychological consequences of being diagnosed as infertile shouldn't be discounted. 

Many people struggle with being labeled as "infertile". Being diagnosed as infertile can be emotional for both men and women and feelings of inadequacy are common. In the West, medical intervention for infertility has become increasingly common and many women have spoken out about their struggles with conceiving. But male infertility is still spoken of in a derogatory way. "Shooting blanks" is a common way to refer to male infertility. To make things worse, many people confuse infertility with impotence.

The most important thing you can do to eliminate the stigma of infertility is to speak up about your experiences. Infertility is a health condition, not a personal failing.Your journey to parenthood should be something you are proud of. You deserve the family you want. And the good news? You are certainly not alone.     

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