Fathers are also important: a recent IVIRMA study indicates that the seminal quality of infertile patients shows a negative trend over the past 10 years.
Although Father's Day is a special day for fathers and a day to be spent with the family, we take advantage of it to highlight the great importance of the male factor in infertility treatments and to inform about scientific advances in our field that can improve the current techniques and treatments.
We emphasize this fact because it is quite common to assume that the most probable cause of infertility is of maternal origin.
This is clearly a myth, given that half of the reasons for infertility are related to the male factor, that is, of paternal origin.
Most frequent reasons
One of the most frequent reasons consulted as a possible cause of infertility is a low sperm count. This count provides very important data for the treatment that is adjusted according to the values obtained from the sperm analysis.
Various recent studies have focused on analyzing trends over time in the sperm count of healthy patients. It was recently published that the overall sperm count for men in the western hemisphere has taken a dive over the last 50 years.
Nevertheless, these studies do not reflect the reality of the infertile population.
That is why, and knowing the clinical importance of a total sperm count, our group has led an unprecedented study that analyzes the trend over time of the total mobile sperm per ejaculation in the European population and in the American population.
Firstly, Dr. Tiegs analyzed the mobile sperm and not the total number of sperm per ejaculation. That is, she analyzed the sperm that were moving under the microscope.
This detail enhances the results obtained in the study given the fact that the mobile spermatozoa are the ones that finally manage to fertilize the eggs.
One of the main results obtained in this study was that, over the course of 10 years, the percentage of men with a normal mobile spermatozoa count (>15 million) significantly decreased from 88% of the infertile population in 2005 to 78% of the infertile population in 2017.
Although it may seem like a small change, a count of less than 15 million generally translates into a change in which infertility treatment to follow, leading to its clinical relevance.
In addition, the study revealed that the percentage of men with normal counts decreases with age. This last finding is of utmost importance because it demonstrates that advanced age not only affects women and their oocytes, but also men.
Of course, a lot of speculation can be made as to what factors have contributed to the drop in the semen quality.
This could even be due to the fact that, over the past several years, more infertile people are recurring to infertility centers, therefore reflecting a low quality over the course of this time period.
However, it is known that environmental factors such as endocrine disruptors and negative lifestyle changes can be affecting the sperm quality without our even realizing it.
IVIRMA stands out in the 66th scientific congress of the Society for Reproductive Investigation in Paris.
Last year, the scientific congress of the Society for Reproductive Investigation was held from March 12 to March 16 in Paris. This congress includes biologically based research as well as clinical studies whose main focus comes together to comprehend the complexity of human reproduction.
IVIRMA was awarded the President's New Investigator Award for the work carried out by Dr Stefania Salsano, now embryologist of IVI Bilbao. Dr. Salsano presented the discoveries of her doctoral thesis about the interactions between proteins in the human endometrium and how these may be relevant in the endometrial receptivity.
Other students and researchers were also present in this congress to present their results and to lead the research in our field.