Global Experts Call for Action to Address Male Infertility

Global Experts Call for Action to Address Male Infertility

For years, the conversation around infertility has often focused solely on women. When a couple seeks fertility care, only 41% of OB/GYN physicians consider a urological evaluation of the male partner and only 24% would routinely refer men to a urologist before ordering a semen analysis. Now, a group of global experts is emphasizing the need to support research and address male infertility with the same commitment and focus.

In the Expert Recommendation published in the journal Nature Reviews Urology, 25 scientists, led by Moira O’Bryan, Dean of Science at the University of Melbourne, share ten recommendations to improve men’s health. The researchers emphasize the urgency of taking action in view of a global decline in male reproductive health.

Their recommendations are based on the fact that, currently, most men with infertility cannot be given an aetiology. As a result, patients are treated uniformly, generally using medically assisted reproduction techniques. By doing so, healthcare providers are missing chances to potentially prevent other health problems the man might have and place the burden and stress of undergoing ART procedures primarily on the woman – and sometimes without success.

10 Calls to Action for Addressing Male Infertility

The group of experts recommend the following to ameliorate male reproductive health:

  1. Governments, health care systems, insurance companies, and the public should understand and acknowledge that male infertility is a common, serious medical condition and patients have a right to meaningful diagnoses and targeted treatments.
  2. Establish a global network of registries and biobanks containing standardized clinical and lifestyle information, and tissue from fertile and infertile men, their partners, and children. Link it to national healthcare data systems.
  3. Implement protocols and incentives to standardize collection of de-identified tissue and clinical/lifestyle data.
  4. Fund more international, collaborative research to understand the interactions and impacts of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors on male fertility in diverse populations.
  5. Integrate genomic sequencing into diagnosis of male infertility.
  6. Develop additional diagnostic tests to improve diagnosis and cause of male infertility.
  7. Rigorously test the impact on male fertility of compounds – especially endocrine-disrupting chemicals – in products, the workplace, and the environment. Implement regulations and policies and develop safe alternatives.
  8. Rigorously test strategies for medically assisted reproduction before they are integrated into clinical practice.
  9. Public education campaigns to promote discussion of male infertility and engagement in health seeking.
  10. Improved training for health care workers to promote male reproductive health across the lifespan.

Key Takeaway

By prioritizing research and personalized treatment options for men, we can move beyond simply “bypassing” the cause of infertility through assisted reproductive technologies and aim for preventive solutions and the appropriate treatment when needed. Comprehensive sperm analyses serve as one link in the chain of care, providing healthcare providers with the tools and information needed to enhance patient care and facilitate informed decision-making. Addressing male infertility is important – not just for achieving successful pregnancies, but also for promoting men’s overall health.

Stay up to date with the latest in fertility research and technology. Explore the latest sperm testing solutions available for fertility clinics, sperm banks and laboratories here

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