By Grace AdaobiOraneli
As a bachelor, divorcee or widower, you think that checking up on your fertility is the least of your concerns? You are wrong! Fertility status should be checked at intervals, an important segment of your routine medical checkup that would be helpful to start early intervention if any issue arises at any point in your life. Sometimes it can be an indication or red flag of life threatening conditions as your general wellbeing and age reflects on your fertility status over time.
The first and major assessment is usually semen analysis. Semen parameters can be affected by duration of abstinence, diseases/abnormalities, lifestyle (smoking, consumption of antioxidants, nutrition, exposure of testes to heat or radiation, etc.) and surprisingly your genes in some individuals! Semen analysis should be part of your routine medical checkup to help curb the situation whenever there is a sharp decline in the quality of your sperm cells. Then, your fertility doctor will recommend the appropriate medical intervention for you (such as surgical sperm extraction, semen freezing, FSH hormonal check, testicular examination, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or whatever that is fit for your case).
Ethics community may frown at raising a child as a single man without a major motherly figure or care for most part of a child’s life. However, it is advisable for men who wish to undergo medical procedures such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgical procedures that may invade the testes or affect semen parameters and soldiers who are sent out to war to cryopreserve or store their semen before embarking on any of these. In case they do not survive and may wish for their partners or wife to conceive for them after their demise. Appropriate legal arrangements is advisable in such cases to avoid family discord in your absence. Notwithstanding, you should endeavor to have a mother or at least a stable and constantly present motherly figure for any child that comes into this world through your gametes as the importance of a mother’s love and care cannot be overemphasized.
In cases of confirmed azoospermia, using donor semen is advisable. It is unethical to use fresh semen of donors and legal documentations should be included. That is part of the reasons ISO certified centers should be your priority and choice for assisted reproductive procedures. If you sign up as a semen donor, be aware that you are doing a noble act, helping couples that could not conceive naturally. Same applies to egg donors, surrogate mothers as well as blood and organ donors.
Always eat balanced diets, daily. Love your fruits and vegetables. Steer clear of foods and drinks that are harmful to your health, especially alcohol and smoking. Exercise daily. Stay away from harmful chemicals and radiation as much as possible. Keep laptops and other hot surfaces away from your testicular region. Take good care of your fertility and health, no matter your age and always have your fertility checks at intervals and as at when due, whether young or elderly.