Abdul Shukur Abdullah. Photo: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: There is worrying concern of infertility problems among husbands as indicated by scientific data and evidence, said National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) director-general Abdul Shukur Abdullah.

Based on an international study, he said infertility problems among men have increased over the last 20 years and had reached 40 to 50 per cent or seven per cent of the male population.

“The fertility level among men below the age of 30 has also decreased by 15 per cent,” he added.

Referring to a LPPKN data for the year 2010 to 2019, he said, 60 per cent of sperm analysis tests were reported as abnormal.

He said it was also found that 95 per cent of men who had normal sexual intercourse were unaware that they might have fertility problems.

He said the Malaysian Population and Family Survey also showed that infertility problems among married couples had increased from 6.9 per cent in 2004 to 8.6 per cent in 2014.

“The percentage is now expected to reach 10 to 12 per cent, which is nearly the global rate of 10 to 15 per cent,” he told Bernama.

Expressing concern with the current scenario, Abdul Shukur said appropriate measures should be taken immediately to address the issue to avoid a shrinking generation in future.

Among steps taken by LPPKN, he said was making compulsory for clients to attend its clinics with their respective spouses.

This has helped to reduce the ego and resistance among husbands, with 100 per cent of them working together in the treatment, he said, adding that it also reflected the perception of men to fertility issues are changing and they were now more aware of it.

Abdul Shukur said among the factors that can cause fertility problems in men is psychosexual problems, such as lack of sexual desire.

“Fertility problems in men also occur when there are abnormalities in sperm production and function due to genetic defects, diabetes, infections such as mumps, and varicoceles,” he added.

He said it could also be due to sperm delivery problems caused by erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, retrograde ejaculation, restriction on the testicles and reproductive organ damage.

“The problem can also be due to environmental factors such as excessive exposure to chemicals, radiation, heat, tobacco smoke, caffeine, recreational drugs as well as damage to the testicles due to cancer or its treatment,” he added.

At LPPKN, he said husbands with sexual problems will be given appropriate counselling and if necessary, advised to take certain medications or supplements.

“Men with abnormalities or deficiency in sperm are advised to take medicine, and if still unsuccessful, specific treatment methods to help fertility problems in men, namely Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or test tube baby procedure is offered,” he added.

He said based on the LPPKN date from 2010 to 2019 showed that of all the ART procedures carried out, 75 per cent were carried out for male fertility problems, with an encouraging fertilisation rate of 80 per cent. – Bernama