Frequency, morbidity and equity - the case for increased research on male fertility

Sarah Kimmins, Richard A Anderson, Christopher L R Barratt, Hermann M Behre, Sarah R Catford, Christopher J De Jonge, Geraldine Delbes, Michael L Eisenberg, Nicolas Garrido, Brendan J Houston, Niels Jørgensen, Csilla Krausz, Ariane Lismer, Robert I McLachlan, Suks Minhas, Tim Moss, Allan Pacey, Lærke Priskorn, Stefan Schlatt, Jacquetta TraslerLeonardo Trasande, Frank Tüttelmann, Mónica Hebe Vazquez-Levin, Joris A Veltman, Feng Zhang, Moira K O'Bryan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

Currently, most men with infertility cannot be given an aetiology, which reflects a lack of knowledge around gamete production and how it is affected by genetics and the environment. A failure to recognize the burden of male infertility and its potential as a biomarker for systemic illness exists. The absence of such knowledge results in patients generally being treated as a uniform group, for whom the strategy is to bypass the causality using medically assisted reproduction (MAR) techniques. In doing so, opportunities to prevent co-morbidity are missed and the burden of MAR is shifted to the woman. To advance understanding of men's reproductive health, longitudinal and multi-national centres for data and sample collection are essential. Such programmes must enable an integrated view of the consequences of genetics, epigenetics and environmental factors on fertility and offspring health. Definition and possible amelioration of the consequences of MAR for conceived children are needed. Inherent in this statement is the necessity to promote fertility restoration and/or use the least invasive MAR strategy available. To achieve this aim, protocols must be rigorously tested and the move towards personalized medicine encouraged. Equally, education of the public, governments and clinicians on the frequency and consequences of infertility is needed. Health options, including male contraceptives, must be expanded, and the opportunities encompassed in such investment understood. The pressing questions related to male reproductive health, spanning the spectrum of andrology are identified in the Expert Recommendation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature reviews. Urology
Volume21
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)102-124
Number of pages23
ISSN1759-4812
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Keywords

  • Child
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Men's Health
  • Morbidity
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted

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