PROLONGED exposure to the sperm or male sex cell, reduces chances of infertility, in the process increasing a woman’s chances of conceiving, a top fertility expert has said.
This comes amidst indications that couples mainly from Sub Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe included, are increasingly experiencing infertility challenges with global data showing that approximately 48.5 million couples globally are affected by infertility. Infertility is defined clinically as failure to conceive after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
Speaking during a virtual press conference to mark World Infertility Awareness month, Dr Edgar Mocanu, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) said, a couple must have sex at least three times a week to increase chances of conception.
There is one aspect that usually like to discuss with my patients and that is the frequency of intercourse. This is because there is a relationship between the frequency of intercourse and the likelihood to conceive,” said Dr Mocanu.
“If a man and a woman have intercourse once a month, their chance to conceive is negligible while if they have sex three times a week, they are probably in an optimal place to conceive because the idea is that the more the female is exposed to the sperm, provided of course the quality of the sperm and her tubes being open, they are more likely that she will conceive. Two three times a week is ideal.”
He added that infertility was somehow hidden away in people’s minds and there is need to talk about it to inform societies that to have infertility is just like having any other medical condition. Infertility is a recognised World Health Organisation (WHO) medical condition.
Merck Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Senator, Dr Rasha Kelej concurred with Dr Mocanu and added that infertility in men in particular, had nothing to do with their virility and experience but other medical factors.
“There is no relation between sexual activity or power and infertility because Infertility is due to either the number of sperms produced, the quality or sperm or the mobility and the morphology of the sperm which has nothing to do with ejaculation or sexual performance,” said Dr Kelej.
She added that a man can have chiselled body but still be fertile and a woman can also have a sexy body but still fail to conceive.
“Men in Africa feel that if you are categorised as infertile, you are not man enough. Therefore, they don’t want to admit it, they want to blame it on the wife because he feels as a man it is impossible and fertility is associated with manhood.”
A study on South African men over a period of six years (from July 1985 to June 1991) showed that 49 percent of men suffered from secondary infertility. Another study reported an overall 73% decline in sperm concentration in African men over a period of 50 years (1965–2015).