Testosterone supplementation suppresses sperm production
Testosterone, which are steroids used by some men to build their muscles, have been cited among drugs that lead to low sperm count.
The President of the Fertility Society of Ghana (FERSOG), Dr Edem Kojo Hiadzi, who disclosed this, explained that the steriods, which are mostly used by bodybuilders, affect the testes in producing sperm.
Therefore, though the man using them may have a good erection, the performance of the sperm may be low.
“While you are building your body and looking more ‘macho’ using testosterone, you may rather be suppressing your sperm production.
So you look fine, but your sperm looks poor or your performance rate is low.
Those are some of the causes of low sperm count, which then affects the fertility of the man,” he explained.
Dr Hiadzi said this at the annual congress and general meeting of FERSOG in Accra on Friday.
The congress, which was on the theme “Inequality in fertility care - the case of the malefactor”, was attended by reputable fertility centres, health experts and policymakers, as well as health and allied health professionals and organisations that are interested in the practices of human reproduction and embryology in Ghana.
Low sperm count
He said the major cause of male infertility in Ghana was low sperm count, which could also be caused by viruses such as mumps, which affect teenagers.
Moreover, he said exposure to too much heat could affect sperm production.
He advised men who were unable to conceive children to see a doctor to examine them and investigate what the cause could be.
Dr Hiadzi said it was unfair that women had to be blamed always for infertility when research had shown that the problem was 50/50, implying both genders could be responsible for the problem.
For men who have problems with low sperm counts, he gave the assurance that there were now more medications that could help increase their sperm counts to enable them to have normal pregnancies.
In a presentation, a fertility specialist and gynaecologist, Dr Rudolph Adageba, explained that for pregnancy to occur, the woman must, among others, have a normal uterus to carry the pregnancy and must be ovulating while for the men, they must have normal semen parameters and regular sexual intercourse.
“So is it because of this that we have shifted the burden of pregnancy so much onto the women or is it because when men have intercourse and ejaculate, they think everything is okay?
In fact, in about 50 per cent of the cases, everything is not okay.”
Meanwhile, a fertility specialist of ELIMMAS Health, Dr Padi Ayertey, said male infertility was a significant concern globally, affecting approximately seven per cent of all men.
He explained that understanding the physiological process of spermatogenesis was essential to comprehend the causes of male infertility.
He mentioned other causes of infertility in men including smoking, alcohol intake, recreational drugs, obesity, insufficient physical activity, inadequate diet, appearance-enhancing anabolics and anti-hair loss medications.
The Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, in a remark, stressed the need to address the deep perception in society that infertility was only attributable to female factors when research showed that male factors equally played significant roles.