Emotional Stress & Male Infertility (Commentary)

Emotional Stress & Male Infertility (Commentary)

Infertility imposes a major psychological burden on patients. It affects an estimated 10-15 per cent of couples, and in roughly half of these cases the defect can be traced to the male (1). A large portion of these men is infertile because of abnormalities in sperm parameters. Paradoxically, the use of assisted reproductive technology such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has increased the need for identifying and understanding the basis of sperm abnormalities of unknown origin. The explosive growth in the use of assisted reproduction techniques (ART) focuses our attention on the fact that-spermatogenic defects may be transmitted by ICSI more readily than by in vivo fertilization (2). Therefore, it is of utmost importance to identify sperm abnormalities before directing the algorithm of infertility management towards ART. Despite the current exciting phase of andrology research, which has been endowed with significant developments, many of the aetiological factors for the lack of fecundity remain unidentified. Hence, the term “unexplained infertility” has become one of the established diagnoses. The diagnosis of unexplained infertility may represent misfortune as a result of laws of chance or a limitation of knowledge of reproductive physiology. Ideally, the diagnosis would specifically identify couples with real but subtle defects in reproductive function that are not detected by available methods. In practice, however, unexplained infertility is a diagnosis of exclusion that is made when a couple is involuntarily infertile and no abnormalities are revealed by a standard infertility evaluation. Emotional stress could be one of these factors that are consistently overlooked but yet play a significant role in the aetiology of infertility.

Emotional Stress & Male Infertility (Commentary)



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