Improving male fertility – a missed opportunity
Lack of knowledge and lack of opportunity are two key reasons why Australian GPs aren’t counselling men about how to improve their fertility.
According to a survey of over 300 practising GPs, the vast majority (90%) did not feel confident in their knowledge about modifiable risk factors that affect male fertility.
And when the researchers got specific, it appeared there was greater awareness of the potential of STIs and smoking to cause fertility problems than a number of other factors such as obesity, undernutrition and poor diet, paternal age and diabetes.
For example, only 55% of GPs were aware that obesity could damage sperm DNA and lower sperm quality, the survey published in the Australian Journal of Primary Health found. There were similar rates of lack of knowledge among GPs that older paternal age was associated with an increased the risk of miscarriage and a higher incidence of autism in the offspring.