Over the last 3 to 4 decades, average sperm count in men as well as sperm quality, have declined alarmingly on a global scale. 1 out of 20 men, at present, are facing different fertility challenges. The growing numbers can be accredited to the exposure to environmental chemicals that disrupt ones endocrine balance.
Dr. Shweta Goswami, Associate Director- Fertility, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Noida says: "Ever-increasing cases of obesity and the trend of delaying parenthood, be it due to work or any other personal reason, have also been great contributing factors. It is pertinent to understand that the reasons behind male infertility can vary greatly, though these are usually linked to congenital, acquired and idiopathic factors that directly or indirectly affect the sperm."
What do the numbers say?
Dr Goswami tells: "One out of six couples who are trying to conceive are not able to achieve pregnancy naturally and are diagnosed with infertility. In fact, an article on Male Infertility, published in The Lancet on December 10, 2020, clearly suggests that 12 percent of couples globally, with a malefactor being a primary or contributing cause in approximately 50 percent of couples'."
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Impact of the current pandemic on male fertility
Ever since the first case of the pandemic was reported in 2019, experts all across the globe have been thriving seamlessly to explicate the unknowns of the deadly virus, Covid-19. While many new facts have come to light, studies are still going on to find out more about the virus and its side effects. Mounting evidence has pointed towards the negative impact of the virus on male infertility, she says.
"A study, COVID-19 and male reproductive function: a prospective, longitudinal cohort study', published in the journal Reproduction in January 2021, suggests that the human reproductive system may be potentially vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and the same can lead to significant impairments in semen volume, progressive motility, sperm morphology, sperm concentration and the number of spermatozoa.
"It is not uncommon for a virus to attack the male reproductive tract as previously documented evidence has shown that there are a variety of viruses that can severely impact male fertility. In light of the global decline in sperm quality, the virus has led to further concerns," says the expert.
The expert burst male infertility myths
If we are talking about male infertility how can we forget the myths that surround it? Here are a few myths and misconceptions related to male infertility that need to be busted:
Myth 1- Infertility is a female problem and males have nothing to do with it
This common myth prevailed in our society for a very long time. In fact, there are still people out there who believe that infertility is only related to females. It is important to understand that infertility is not a gender-specific problem and can affect both females as well as males. Male infertility predominantly depends upon the quality and quantity of the sperm. Studies suggest that two-thirds of the males with fertility issues have found to have low sperm count or impaired sperm quality. Rest can be contributed to problems in the male reproductive tract, genetic conditions, hormonal imbalance and other factors.
Myth 2- Only women need to take care of their health when it comes to planning for pregnancy.
This is completely false as the quality of the sperm is as important as the quality of the egg. There are various factors that can affect the quality of the sperm which include excessive smoking, drinking, substance abuse, exposure to harmful chemicals, wearing tight fitted underwear's and sexually transmitted diseases. As most of the problems concerning male infertility are related to sperm, it is extremely important to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine.
Myth 3- Men can have children as long as they live
No doubt males do not have a fertility window like females but this does not mean that they can impregnate their partner anytime they want. Although it is possible for some males to have children in their 70s, the time taken for or achieving the pregnancy is considerably longer than males who are below 45 years of age. This happens because sperm quality is likely to decrease after a certain age. It is also important to note that the chances of miscarriage and premature birth are higher when the man is older. Not only this, if you are planning a pregnancy after crossing 70 years of age, the child is quite likely to have genetic, chromosomal and developmental defects.
Read More► How age affects a women's fertility as compared to men?
Starting a fitness routine is a tough and overwhelming choice. Especially if you are a beginner and can barely differentiate between a bench press and a cross trainer, let alone know what goals you can achieve with either. Staying motivated to work out may very well be hard, but not impossible. A personal trainer may be able to help you on this journey, yet the motivation comes from no one but yourself.
If you want to see the change in your body and are ready to make serious changes to your lifestyle while stuck at home again, Niraj Puran Rao, fitness icon and the Indian candidate on the iconic business reality show the Apprentice e ONE Championship edition, shares some cardinal rules to help your fitness expedition take off today.
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You need to understand that this is a process that will require full commitment at your end. You need to be absolutely ready for taking on this challenge since fitness is all about finding the perfect balance. It will get difficult to reach your desired goals with a lack of self-commitment.
Set A Clear Goal
The first step before getting into a fitness routine is to understand what your aim is. Whether it is to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, build flexibility or build muscle power. Determining what you want will lead you to taking up a fitness routine in alignment with your goal.
While your body is very capable of change, it is impossible to expect that you will be able to do 3 repetitions with heavy weights on the very first day that you begin your fitness journey. You could try a class that will help you find the best exercise routine based on your fitness goals. It may not necessarily be working out in the gym but could also be Pilates, yoga or even Zumba.
Keep It Going
The process of fitness can be tiresome and may even make you give up. That is when you need to spring up and get back into the routine. You need not do the same exercise every day, instead could try brisk walking or doing 5-10 Suryanamaskars to keep the momentum going.
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Find A Friend
A workout buddy who has similar fitness goals like yours can be of great support in this journey. They can be your cheerleaders when you feel low and demotivated, and you can also hold each other accountable to your fitness goals. After all, who doesn't like a partner- in-fitness.
Now that you have started on your fitness journey and have gotten the motivation to exercise, it's time to watch what you eat. Without the right kind of food, your fitness routine will go for a toss. Healthy food and plenty of water is the fuel that your body needs. It is essential to consume carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in equal amounts.
Be Kind To Yourself
This project you have taken up is just for yourself. It is important to celebrate the small wins like increase in the number of sets you do or the number of miles you ran and treat yourself. You could even buy those cool athleisure outfits that you were eyeing to sustain the excitement and make it a fun experience. You must reward yourself for all that hard work that you put in.
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Mostly, women are aware of reproductive facts and something called a biological clock ticking away. This comes into prominence especially when couples plan their pregnancy. One should keep in mind that fertility is age-related for both men and women and this understanding is pivotal because it helps in conceiving, the baby's health depends on it and one can make informed choices during pregnancy.
How age affects a women's fertility as compared to men?
Fertility with age has a different effect on men and women. A woman is born with certain number of eggs that only get depleted over a period of time, and after some time she can't produce any more eggs. But in the case of a man, he can produce sperms his entire life. Therefore, it signifies the women's pregnancy health window is short as compared to a man's, who can even father a child in their 60s and 70s. So, let's have a look at the fertility across different age groups:
Fertility in their 20s:
According to the experts, this is the perfect age group for a woman to have a healthy pregnancy. This is the age when women are most fertile. The difference in fertility in their early 20s and late 20s is almost negligible.
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Some of the great advantages of pregnancy during this age group are:
* As your eggs have lesser odds of carrying genetic abnormalities, the chances of your child having any genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome, Thalassemia, etc. is minimal.
* The risk of miscarriage lays only 10 per cent.
* Less likely that you will have premature baby or baby with low birth weight.
* Even the mother has lower risk of any health complications like gestational diabetes or hypertension.
The disadvantages of this phase are:
* In first pregnancy, the risk of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication, becomes higher
* If you have PCOD or uterine fibroids or any underlying medical condition, achieving a pregnancy is complicated.
* When it comes to male fertility, they don't have to worry at all. If at all infertility has been diagnosed in a man, then it's all because of his lifestyle choices that lead to obesity, hypertension, contraction of any sexually transmitted infection and diabetes. This can be reversed in the case of men by altering lifestyle choices. Sexually Transmitted Infections in men affect the motility and concentration of sperms.
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Fertility in their 30s:
If a woman wants to conceive in this phase of her life, then the chances of expecting are between 15 and 20 per cent each month provided they don't have any underlying health conditions. A study has confirmed that women in 30s have 30 per cent chances of conceiving in their first try. But, fertility tends to decline when a woman reaches 35 because of the decreased quality and quantity of the eggs. Even the chances of conceiving naturally after 35 are also minimal. The increased level of the follicle-stimulating hormone in a female body makes her more prone to having twins or triplets.
The risks of conceiving in 30s are:
* Higher C-section rates
* Higher chances of genetic issues in the newborn
* Increased rates of miscarriages and stillbirths
* Elevated risks of ectopic pregnancy
Fertility in your 40s and beyond:
In case of a woman, it's not impossible to conceive in this age but one should take notice of the fact that during each ovulatory cycle, pregnancy rate dips to 5 per cent between 40 and 44, whereas beyond 45 it gets reduced to 1 per cent. According to Center for Disease Control, half of women across the globe undergo fertility issues in 40s.
The risk factors of conceiving remains the same as it is in their 30s. Since there are risk factors involved, there is no guarantee that a female can conceive for sure. Even a man's fertility also declines in this age group as the sperm count and semen volume also decreases. But, one should not give up hope and consult a fertility expert at the right time.
Ultimately, the perfect time to get pregnant is when you feel it's the right time for you. It's completely fine if want to feel more confident in your career and finances to start building your family. If you do choose to wait, do consult with your doctor or a fertility specialist to make sure no health issues will come as surprise once you're ready. The fertility expert will not only help you know your ovarian reserve but can also suggest ways and means to preserve your fertility till you are ready to become a mother.
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 12 (IANS) Matching the theme for the 2021 International Nurses Day which is -- Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare, perfectly fits the bill for 35-year-old Kerala male nurse P.M. Arun Kumar as he can be called the poor man's Thomas Alva Edison on account of the various things he has made for safe handling of the Covid pandemic, and for health care professionals.Kumar after eight years of serving at the Pondicherry JIPMER hospital, got into the Kerala Health Service and from 2018 he is serving as Nursing Officer at the Idukki Medical College hospital and by now he has to his credit four 'inventions' which have made life easy for the hardworking medical professionals at the hospital. Kumar told IANS that with the hospital operating on a shoe string government funding and little funds available at their free disposal to get state of the art safety equipment, he on his own with the financial support of doctors at the hospital and other staff by now, has made four inventions. "Collection of swabs daily means they needed at least 8 PPE kits and when it became tough as PPE kits was more in need for their colleagues at the wards, he put on his thinking cap and with a funding of Rs 7,000 collected from doctors he made a swab collection room where the doctors in normal dress stand inside the hospital room and the patient stands outside a window. Through this the collector of the swab need not wear a PPE kit and he can operate his foot pump which sprays the sanitizer into the gloves after the swab is collected. Then there is hair drier which has been modified and placed outside and after each sample is collected the gloves which are left outside are sanitised and dried and the next sample is collected," said Kumar. The drier which is available in the open market costs Rs 8,500 and upwards, but for Kumar it costs just Rs 1,500. He said washing of hands by the medical professionals also had become a problem with the test positivity rate at the hospital started to climb and is hovering above 20 per cent. "Since the hospital is located in the old block, most of the water taps are old and given the present pandemic situation, it's not safe to open the taps and hence I have converted all these taps into an elbow tap made out of SS steel bars. A regular elbow tap in the market costs Rs 1,000, while I spend Rs 60 for each to convert these into elbow taps," added Arun. Arun's invention doesn't end as the most recent problems faced by his hospital is the various vaccines which are kept in ice boxes and when the ice packs melt the temperature goes up and if not timely replaced with a fresh ice pack, the efficacy of the vaccines gets poor. "So what I did is I have made a digital vaccine box and from anywhere in the room we can see the inside temperature and the moment it increases, anyone can put a fresh ice pack. Before one had to open and see the ice pack and every time the box is opened, it isn't good and now only once you need to open the box. All it cost me was Rs 500," added Arun, whose wife is also a staff nurse working in a nearby state run hospital and gives all the support for his inventions. Yet another and the most latest invention came last week when he designed a viral transport medium tray made out of composite aluminium panels and it's used to transport the samples of RT-PCR, which hitherto was packed in zip lock bags. "It costs me Rs 1,500 and we have a few trays and here also the money for this came from a staff. If not for the encouragement of the team of our doctors working here, I would not have made all these and today, we are getting numerous calls from people who have known what we have done. Due to lack of time, I tell them the way these are to be made and when I have time, I do make it for them at cost price," added Arun. --IANS sg/skp/
New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Full-service carrier Vistara on Wednesday commenced its non-stop flights between Mumbai and Male.According to the airline, the inaugural flight was operated by Vistara's Airbus A320neo aircraft.The airline will fly three times a week on the route under India's transport bubble agreement with the Republic of Maldives."Vistara will accept all eligible customers meeting visa or entry requirements in both countries, as specified by the respective government bodies,"At present, the airline has a fleet of 44 aircraft, including 34 Airbus A320, two Airbus A321neo, six Boeing B737-800NG, and two Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.On its part, CSMIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport), Mumbai in a statement said: "Since the commencement of the air bubble arrangement with Maldives on August 13, 2020, CSMIA has seen a rise in passenger traffic catering to over 56,000 passengers across an approximate total of 410 flights to and from CSMIA till date.""During this period, the airport had catered to the region through Indigo and GoAir, wherein IndiGo catered to the highest passenger traffic, over 32,000 passengers from the airport. The increase in frequency to the destination through the addition of the new Vistara flight with effect from March 3, 2021 comes as a boon to travellers from and around Mumbai." --IANS rv/sn/ash
New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Full-service carrier Vistara will operate special, non-stop flights between Maldives capital Male and Mumbai from March 3.Accordingly, the airline will fly three times a week to Male under India's travel bubble agreement with the Maldives.Vistara will deploy its Airbus A320neo aircraft with three-class cabin configuration on the route.At present, all tourist establishments in the Maldives have been regulated to ensure that they are in line with the Covid-19 safe tourism guidelines issued by the Maldivian Ministry of Tourism along with a certification program to uphold high safety and hygiene standards."Vistara will accept all eligible customers meeting visa or entry requirements in both countries, as specified by the respective government bodies," the airline said in a statement.--IANSrv/sn/in Get Outlook for iOS