Men's health: How do men make it out of the sperm crisis?


As part of the Movember movement, we are raising awareness about male fertility. Research results show that the majority of couples can't get pregnant due to reduced sperm quality. Our medical director Prof. Heinz Strohmer gives lifestyle tips on how men can find their way out of the "sperm crisis". The fertility expert also advocates a corona vaccination, which according to US study results can slightly improve sperm quality.

Our team of doctors would like to raise awareness in "Movember": There are fewer and fewer sperm cells in the seminal fluid of Austrian men. This leads to men becoming increasingly infertile. Current figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) also confirm a decrease in sperm concentration. Just 50 years ago, the average per millilitre of ejaculate was 100 million sperm cells - today it is only between 20 and 6 million.

"Fertility is a good indicator on a men's health."

"Despite intensive research, the reasons for dwindling male fertility are still largely unknown. Congenital developmental disorders, such as testicular dysfunction, can be a common cause," says Prof. Strohmer. However, biological causes do not always have to be behind it. An unhealthy lifestyle also has a negative impact on fertility. He also emphasises: "Male fertility is a good indicator of how men's health is doing in general. Unfortunately, men rarely deal with the issue of their own fertility." The causes of infertility lie 55.1% with the man, 14.8% with the woman and in 30.1% of cases with both partners," explains Strohmer. This is where reproductive medicine can provide support. In 2018, a total of around 16,300 IVF treatments were carried out in Austria, including almost 11,000 that were supported by the IVF Fund - that is 50% more than ten years ago. Male fertility can be examined quite simply by means of a spermiogram. The number of sperm cells, their motility and shape are assessed and compared with the WHO average values.

How men get out of the sperm crisis

So, how can you achieve pregnancy faster? With the following medical recommendations, men can improve their sperm quality and thus increase their fertility: "It is particularly important not to smoke, to have a normal body weight, to do enough sports and physical exercise, and to avoid anabolic steroids or hormone preparations in the fitness sector," advises Prof. Strohmer. A healthy diet also plays an important role. Experts recommend a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oil, little red meat and a lot of fish instead. It seems as if nuts and meditation also have an improving effect. The age of the man comes into focus just as much, as it can have an impact on the later health of the child. Studies show that the ejaculate of 45-year-old men is less mobile than that of men under 35. Experts therefore recommend that, if possible, their plan to start a family should be realised at a younger age.

Covid-19 vaccination improves semen quality

A recent study by the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami (USA) and existing data from the Kinderwunschzentrum an der Wien prove: The mRNA vaccines are harmless with regard to male fertility. The study results even show slight improvements in semen quality after vaccination. Prof. Strohmer also confirms this: "Since the COVID-19 vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna is not a live vaccine, a restriction of male fertility due to the vaccination could be excluded, taking into account the previous data. This study has now confirmed that men can be vaccinated without any negative effect on their fertility. We recommend vaccination especially for men who are currently trying for a baby, but also for men who are planning to have children in the future, because a COVID-19 infection can most likely lead to fertility problems," says Prof. Strohmer.




You still have questions about male fertility?

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