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Category: Infertility Testing-Male
It has long been accepted that as a country gets more industrialized and developed, the fertility rate goes down. This has been seen as partially due to the different demands that an industrial economy places on a population as compared to an agricultural economy, but higher education and the presence of pollutants from industrialized living have also been suggested as contributors. One out of every six couples of reproductive age have more difficulty conceiving a child than expected, according to the magazine Advance for LPNs.
However, a new study appearing in Nature magazine has shown that the rule about increasing development meaning a decline in fertility may not be the whole story, reporting a finding that "above a certain degree of economic development, fertility once again begins to rise."
It takes a population passing into the upper reaches of the Human Development Index, a measure of life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment and GDP per capita for countries worldwide. However, those at the high end of the index have been showing increased fertility over the last 30 years.
"This is a surprising new empirical finding that will almost certainly generate additional research to better understand the underlying mechanisms of fertility change and possible policy responses to low fertility," said Hans-Peter Kohler, a professor of sociology in Penn's School of Arts and Sciences and an author on the paper.
Infertility testing has become a big business as patients in the U.S. struggle with having children. In many cases, low fertility is tied to age, as men and women put off attempting to have children until later and later in life.
This is not the only issue affecting fertility, however.
Research from Spain has shown that a man's diet may have a significant impact on the quality and quantity of sperm a man produces, and thus his fertility.
"A healthy, well-balanced diet is not just important for preventing diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension, but it may be useful for preserving or improving your reproductive health too," lead researcher Dr Jaime Mendiola of the University of Murcia, told Reuters Health.
The Spanish researchers had previously found that a diet high in meat and dairy, and poor in vegetables and fruit, resulted in lower-quality sperm. Their new study looked at the specific nutrients involved and found that the men with normal semen ate more folate, vitamin C, fiber, carbohydrate and lycopene - which is found abundantly in tomatoes. They also had a lower proportion of fat and protein in their diets than those with poor sperm quality.
A number of other aspects may also result in a man showing up as infertile on an infertility test. Chemical exposure, as well as a number of prescription drugs, can be damaging to sperm. So can alcohol consumption, smoking and even intense heat.
Another major cause of infertility in both males and females are STDs. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can both cause infertility if left untreated. The risk is higher in women than in men, but both genders are susceptible.
The CDC has the Infertility Protection Project, which is an attempt to fight STD-based infertility. The project focuses primarily on chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the U.S., and gives funds to and helps coordinate local centers for STD testing and prevention.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota Department of Health announced four Minnesota health centers representing nine clinics in the state will receive about $830,000 in funds to support greater STD testing in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
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