Men miss link between fertility and lifestyle

Men are unaware that getting older, drinking too much and being obese can reduce their fertility, according to a new poll.
Obesity: Fertility threat. Picture: PAObesity: Fertility threat. Picture: PA
Obesity: Fertility threat. Picture: PA

The survey found some men did not want to discuss fertility problems with their GP or partner, while many underestimated the proportion of fertility problems attributable to men.

Almost half (49 per cent) of more than 2,000 men polled were not aware that sperm suffers more genetic faults as men get older.

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More than one in three were unaware that fertility decreases the more men drink, while 33 per cent of men smoked regularly, despite the fact smoking reduces sperm quality.

Almost half (46 per cent) of men were also unaware that being overweight or obese meant it could take longer for couples to conceive.

The poll was carried out by Nuffield Health in partnership with the charity Infertility Network UK.

Helen Lyall, a consultant at Nuffield Health Glasgow Hospital, said: “From my experience, it is clear that men may be embarrassed to talk about fertility problems and it’s generally women who make the first step towards addressing fertility concerns.

“However, with one in six couples facing fertility issues, it is important to reassure men that this is not a taboo subject and to take away the stigma around discussing fertility.”