New Delhi: The rising temperature is one of the key factors behind male infertility in India, said World Health Organisation (WHO).

The prevalence of infertility in the general population is 15 to 20 per cent, as per the WHO and the male infertility factor contributes around 40 per cent to this rate.

Talking about the rising male infertility, Dr. Neeta Singh, Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, said that Sperm DNA fragmentation is an important factor in this.

“The parenting age has considerably increased compared to last 25-30 years because of late marriage trends. Now, males generally marry after 30-33 years and more or less, there is the same pattern for females also. So, with the advancement of the ages, there happens DNA fragmentation in the sperm which is primarily responsible for male infertility,” said Dr. Singh.

Among other reasons, the rising temperature is also an important factor for male infertility, she said, adding, “Our clothing patterns have also an impact on infertility.”

“The testes are naturally placed outside the body because it even cannot tolerate the body’s normal temperature. But, tight dressing trends and hot geographical location causes severe infertility,” said Dr. Singh of AIIMS.

He added that it also affects the blood circulation of the body.

She continued by saying that the tight dressing is for the nations like US where the temperature is normally cold, but in the Indian context, it may be fatal.

The effects of elevated testicular temperature may result in abnormal spermatogenesis and impaired sperm morphology and function, she said.

She added that “our ancestors used to wear loose and airy dresses like ‘dhoti’ and ‘lungi'”.

Prolonged heat can create a problem on that part, she said, adding that it is advisable to wash the male part with cold water after several intervals if exposed to high temperatures.

She also underlined the late-night working culture as a prime factor for infertility because it affects the secretion of the Melatonin hormone that is produced by the brain in response to darkness.

“There is a trend of declining sperm count across the globe and accordingly, the WHO has also reduced the acceptable value for normal sperm count. From 45 million sperm count, it has been reduced to 15 million sperm count which is supposed enough for pregnancy,” said Delhi-based fertility expert Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj.

“In the semen analysis, the good count was considered above 60 million a decade ago, but in today’s environment, we find maximum normal sperm count around 30 to 40 million and it has considerably decreased,” she added.

Dr Bajaj said that around 40 per cent of total infertility is caused by male infertility, adding that if sperm count is above 15 million, pregnancy can be achieved.

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