INFERTILITY ON THE RISE

National Human Genome Research Institute

There has been an increase in the number of male infertility cases across the island, says Dr. Dwayne “Baba” Thwaites.

The urologist attached to the Mount Saint John’s Hospital claimed, while speaking on OBSERVER AM on Wednesday, that a good percentage of the population is unable to conceive children.

“What I am seeing more and more now is infertility. A lot of infertility is on the island. It becomes a big problem, and it’s a burdensome one on the population itself,” said Dr. Thwaites.

His assessment was based on the number of males who are being referred to him by gynecologists when their female partners are unable to get pregnant.

“Most of the patients who have been referred to me are because the females have a problem. I really don’t see the female population. But once there is an infertility problem, the gynecologist would then send the patient over to me to [investigate] the male aspect of it. Just by dialogue and referrals I am assuming there is a high incidence of infertility in the female population also,” said the urologist.

Dr. Raymond Mansoor, a gynecologist and obstetrician, agreed with Dr. Thwaites by stating that sperm count, which contributes greatly to male fertility, has been on the decrease but his assessment extends to both genders.

“I have noticed that even the younger patients are having sperm counts that are lower than what I would have expected,” said Mansoor.

 “We have a number of dual factor cases . . . the woman has an issue with let’s say irregular hormones and he may have borderline sperm count or bad mobility. It is not just female or male factor infertility,” said the gynecologist/obstetrician.

He however cautioned that further studies needed to be carried out to thoroughly assess the increase in male infertility.

The medical practitioners agreed that the causes of infertility are extensive and may begin early in life, sometimes as a result of an unfortunate circumstance.

Of course, they stressed the question of personal responsibility by saying, “Sexually transmitted diseases, smoking whether the cigarette or the weed, and drinking are major causes of infertility.”

In concluding, they urged the use of condoms as a protection against STD’s (another possible cause of infertility) and said, “[You should] abstain [from sex] until you are certain that you are comfortable with your partner. Consider doing family earlier rather than later. And if a male is being offered medication by a doctor, he should inquire if it will affect his fertility in the long run.”

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