London, June 18 (IANS) Taking Pfizer or Moderna Covid vaccine shots do not lower sperm counts in men, claimed a study.Researchers at the University of Miami studied sperm counts in men who had recently been vaccinated, and compared the results to their sperm count before being vaccinated, the Daily Mail reported.The findings published in the journal JAMA showed that the average men increased sperm count by 22 per cent with the largest increase in sperm count at 90 per cent.The increases may not be because of the vaccine, though, as they fall within normal fluctuations of sperm counts, the researchers said.Many false claims about the vaccines and their effects on sperm count and fertility have surfaced on social media in recent months.The study did not find any sperm count reduction in men who had received either one or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccine, and the final mean and median sperm counts even increased.The largest decrease in sperm count of any man in the study was only 20 per cent, the report said.For the study, the team recruited 45 men aged 18 to 50 years old, all of whom had no previously known case of Covid-19 and did not exhibit symptoms of the virus.After two to seven days of abstinence, and before receiving their first vaccine dose, a semen analysis was performed on the respondents of the study.Their sperm counts were analysed once again 70 days after they received the second dose of either mRNA vaccine.The median sperm count increased from 26 million cells per milliliter of fluid (m/ml) to 30 m/ml, a 15 per cent increase.Meanwhile, average sperm count increased from 36 m/ml to 44 m/ml, a 22 per cent increase.Sperm volume and sperm motility also significantly increased during this period, the report said.--IANSrvt/arm
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.
Also, Read► Lifestyle changes may up fertility for obese, infertile women
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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London, Aug 9 (IANS) In a breakthrough for fertility science, scientists have shattered the universally accepted view of how sperm 'swim'.About 300 years ago, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek used one of the earliest microscopes to describe human sperm as having a "tail, which, when swimming, lashes with a snakelike movement, like eels in the water".This is an optical illusion, according to the new study."Human sperm figured out if they roll as they swim, much like playful otters corkscrewing through water, their one-sided stoke would average itself out, and they would swim forwards," said study author Hermes Gadelha from the University of Bristol in the UK."The sperms' rapid and highly synchronised spinning causes an illusion when seen from above with 2D microscopes - the tail appears to have a side-to-side symmetric movement, like eels in the water, as described by Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century," Gadelha added.Using state-of-the-art 3D microscopy and mathematics, the research team have pioneered the reconstruction of the true movement of the sperm tail in 3D.Using a high-speed camera capable of recording over 55,000 frames in one second, and a microscope stage with a piezoelectric device to move the sample up and down at an incredibly high rate, they were able to scan the sperm swimming freely in 3D.The study, published in the journal Science Advances, revealed the sperm tail is, in fact, wonky and only wiggles on one side.While this should mean the sperm's one-sided stroke would have it swimming in circles, sperm have found a clever way to adapt and swim forwards."Our discovery shows sperm have developed a swimming technique to compensate for their lop-sidedness and in doing so have ingeniously solved a mathematical puzzle at a microscopic scale: by creating symmetry out of asymmetry," said Gadelha.According to the researchers, the otter-like spinning of human sperm is however complex: the sperm head spins at the same time that the sperm tail rotates around the swimming direction.This is known in physics as precession, much like when the orbits of Earth and Mars precess around the sun.This discovery, with its novel use of 3D microscope technology combined with mathematics, may provide fresh hope for unlocking the secrets of human reproduction."With over half of infertility caused by male factors, understanding the human sperm tail is fundamental to developing future diagnostic tools to identify unhealthy sperm," Gadelha noted.--IANSbu/rt
New York, April 23 (IANS) The deadly coronavirus is unlikely to spread through sperms, say researchers, adding that they found no evidence of the virus in the samples of semen of men infected with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 disease. It comes as a huge relief as that would have made the spread multiply."The fact that in this small, preliminary study that it appears the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn't show up in the testes or semen could be an important finding," said study co-author James M Hotaling from the University of Utah in the US."If a disease like COVID-19 were sexually transmittable that would have major implications for disease prevention and could have serious consequences for a man's long-term reproductive health," Hotaling added.For the findings, published in the journal Fertility & Sterility, the international team of researchers from China and the US launched the study in response to concerns that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could be sexually transmitted like Ebola, Zika and other emerging viral pathogens. To find out, they collected semen samples from 34 Chinese men one month (on average) after they were diagnosed with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.Laboratory tests did not detect SARS-CoV-2 in any of the semen samples. But just because the virus wasn't present in the existing semen didn't necessary rule out that it hadn't entered the testes where sperm cells are formed, the researchers said."If the virus is in the testes but not the sperm it can't be sexually transmitted but if it is in the testes, it can cause long-term damage to semen and sperm production," said study co-author Jingtao Guo.To sort this part of the puzzle out, the researchers analysed a dataset generated from a single cell mRNA atlas from healthy young organ donors that were available from prior work. This atlas allows them to examine mRNA, the genetic material used to make proteins, in any single testicular cell. In this case, the scientist used it to examine the expression of a pair of genes associated with SARS-CoV-2.These two genes, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) act as receptors, allowing SARS-CoV2 to penetrate cells and replicate. In order for the virus to access cells effectively, both receptors must be present in the same cell.When the researchers examined the dataset, they found that genes encoding these two proteins were only found in four of the 6,500 testicular cells, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 is unlikely to invade human testicular cells.Despite these findings, the researchers acknowledge that their study has several important limitations including small sample size and the fact that none of the donors had been severely ill with COVID-19.--IANSbu/in
Prolonged fear and anxiety owing to stressors like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can not only take a toll on a person's mental health but also have a lasting impact on sperm composition that could affect future offspring, warn researchers.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, outlines a biological mechanism for how a father's experience with stress can influence fetal brain development in the womb.
According to the researchers, the effects of paternal stress can be transferred to offspring through changes in the extracellular vesicles that then interact with maturing sperm. Extracellular vesicles are small membrane-bound particles that transport proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids between cells.
They are produced in large amounts in the reproductive tract and play an integral role in sperm maturation.
"Properly managing stress can not only improve mental health and other stress-related ailments, but it can also help reduce the potential lasting impact on the reproductive system that could impact future generations," said study researcher Tracy Bale from University of Maryland in the US.
To examine a novel biological role for extracellular vesicles in transferring dad's stress to sperm, the researchers examined extracellular vesicles from mice following treatment with the stress hormone corticosterone.
After treatment, the extracellular vesicles showed dramatic changes in their overall size as well as their protein and small RNA content.
When sperm were incubated with these previously "stressed" extracellular vesicles prior to fertilizing an egg, the resulting mouse pups showed significant changes in patterns of early brain development, and as adults these mice were also significantly different than controls for how they responded to stress themselves.
To see if similar differences occurred in human sperm, the researchers recruited students to donate sperm each month for six months, and complete questionnaires about their perceived stress state in the preceding month.
They found that students who had experienced elevated stress in months prior showed significant changes in the small RNA content of their sperm, while those who had no change in stress levels experienced little or no change.
These data confirm a very similar pattern found in the mouse study.
"Our study shows that the baby's brain develops differently if the father experienced a chronic period of stress before conception, but we still do not know the implications of these differences," said Bale.
According to the researchers, stress-induced changes in the male reproductive system take place at least a month after the stress is attenuated and life has resumed its normal patterns.
"It is important to realize that social distancing does not have to mean social isolation, especially with modern technologies available to many of us," said Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health in his web message about coping with coronavirus.
"Connecting with our friends and loved ones, whether by high tech means or through simple phone calls, can help us maintain ties during stressful days ahead and will give us strength to weather this difficult passage". (IANS)
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Quite like women, men may also suffer from different types of infertility, one of which is erectile dysfunction and eventually leads to oligospermia. It is a condition in which the affected individual loses the ability to take part in sexual activities. Oligospermia is caused due to low sperm count in the males, which doesn’t let the ovum of their female partner to fertilize.
Causes of Oligospermia
Normally, excessive stress, smoking and consumption of alcohol are regarded as the major causes of erectile dysfunction and oligospermia. But it can also be triggered by varicocele condition, which is an enlargement of veins in the scrotum. Hormonal imbalance, harmful radiations like radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as administering certain drugs and medications are some other causes leading to oligospermia.
Symptoms of Oligospermia
If a man is not able to maintain his erection while performing sexual activities, then it is considered that he is suffering from erectile dysfunction. However, oligospermia doesn’t have any sign or symptom; the affected person gets to know about it when his partner is not able to conceive.
Diagnosis of Oligospermia
The diagnosis of oligospermia is dependent on the low count of semen analysis that has to be performed twice randomly. Recently, WHO has established a reference point for the optimum level of sperm count, which is 15 million sperms for every milliliter of semen. It is crucial to mention here that the concentration of sperms may fluctuate and there can be permanent and temporary forms of oligospermia.
Ayurvedic treatment of Oligospermia
Ayurveda is considered as the science of life and is regarded as a holistic as well as comprehensive medical system. This system utilizes the inherent principles of nature for helping a person maintain good health by keeping the body, mind and soul in perfect coalesce with nature.
1. Ayurveda has presented a distinct branch that deals with defective semen and spermatogenesis along with sexual potency. Such medications are called Vajikaranatantra or aphrodisiac medicines. This therapy is recommended for all males between the ages 16 to 70 to maintain healthy semen and overall sexual activity.
2. In Ayurveda, the treatment of oligospermia comprises administering the Vajikaradravyas and rasayanas in optimum amount. These therapies are quite helpful in detoxifying and rejuvenating the body. Additionally, with little modifications in lifestyle and diet, you can not only experience sexual pleasure, but also be able to produce physically and mentally healthy offspring.
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