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A study by California’s Stanford University School of Medicine, led by Dr. Michael Eisenberg, revealed evidence that infertility in men tells of other hidden health problems.

This study analyzed 9,837 infertile men averaging 38 years of age. Their semen had been collected at some point between 1994 and 2011; corresponding medical records were studied for motility, concentration, and volume of semen with respect to other problems. About half of the patients’ infertility was not a result of poor semen quality but rather of outside causes: 44% of the men had other health issues, notably circulatory diseases- diseases in the blood, heart, and blood vessels- like hypertension, vascular disease, and heart disease. Earlier in 2014, the research team found that male infertility due to semen abnormalities is connected to a higher overall mortality risk, but recently narrowed down the trend to circulatory problems in December.

 Healthier men tend not to have infertility caused by other health problems.

Image Source: Ilia Yefimovich

Originally, the purpose of the study wasn’t to seek the connecting factor between semen and seemingly unrelated diseases. However, the strong correlation between male fertility and overall health contributes clear evidence that much of the human genome is intertwined- about 15% of all genes are directly related to factors of reproduction.

With this information, medical professionals who see males about problems with fertility may now have to warn their patients about potential health risks which the patient perhaps has not considered. With semen quality as an added reflection of overall health and evidence that this is strongly linked to the potential for circulatory diseases, preventative or earlier measures may be taken with treatment in the future.

 Featured Image Source: Running by Giuseppe Milo

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