The largest study conducted to date on male fertility has linked low sperm count with a number of health disease risks.
A recent study examined 5,177 male partners of infertile couples in Italy. The participants underwent testicular ultrasound testing, semen analysis, fertility-related hormonal testing, and testing for other health related parameters. Here are some of the study's findings.
The study found that men with low sperm count (with less than 39 million per ejaculate) were 1.2 times more likely to have higher body fat and an increased waist circumference. These men also had higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
The study found that half of the men with low testosterone levels (51%) showed low bone mass that is commonly known as osteopenia (osteoporosis). The results also indicated that men with low sperm count were 12 times more likely to have low testosterone level (hypogonadism).
The study outcome showed too that men with low sperm count experienced higher chances of having the so called metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions that is associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Insulin resistance was also found to be higher in these men.
This important study is one of the first of its kind that has linked infertility in men with co-existing health problem in the same individuals. It is thus important that infertile men be advised, evaluated, and coached not only regarding their reproductive potential but also on their overall health and wellbeing.
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