According to a new study, men tend to be in the dark about fertility issues. Does this surprise you?
When it comes to fertility, hopeful parents have a lot to think about: Ovulation, timing, basal blood temperature...and that's just on your end of things. And keeping up with all the factors that could impact your fertility is clearly a little too much for many potential parents-to-be.
According to a Canadian study from McGill University, men may not be as aware of fertility risk factors as one might think. The researchers surveyed Canadian men and found they could only identify about half of the activities and medical conditions that might negatively affect fertility.
While there were some risk factors the men surveyed could easily identify—examples included cancer, smoking, and steroid use—the men didn't recognize common risk factors like obesity, for one thing. Certain day-to-day behaviors can affect fertility as well, much to the surprise of the men sampled: Riding a bike too often or placing a laptop computer on the lap consistently may decrease a man's fertility as well, according to the study, but the group seemed unaware of both of these risk factors.
While there are clearly men out there who are incredibly informed where fertility is concerned—one interesting aspect of this research is that the knowledge gap appeared to exist regardless of age, income status, and education level.
"Men aren't as inclined to ask questions about their health, so it stands to reason that they would be less well-informed about their fertility," the study's leader, Phyllis Zelkowitz, said in a release for the study. "About one-third of the men in the survey had concerns about their fertility and nearly 60 percent wanted to learn more. Infertility can be devastating for people. When men can't have children, or have to undertake very expensive treatments, it can have a grave psychological impact. It can lead to depression and put severe stress on relationships."
It's not surprising that many people don't understand all the infertility risk factors—after all, fertility is something we don't often consider until we're actively trying to become parents. Do you think there's a need for more education where fertility risks are concerned?