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Ending the stigma surrounding male infertility

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-27 16:57:43-04

The focus around infertility is often on the woman, but a review of studies the past few decades indicates a man today likely has 60 percent less sperm than what his grandfather had.

Still, there's a stigma around guys talking about this.

For Johnny Kozlowski, he discovered through testing that his sperm was low on the scale for shape and movement to successfully reach the egg.

It was something he didn't expect.

"I never, up to that point in time, had a conversation with another one of my guy friends discussing like the issues that they themselves have had," Kozlowski said. "I think like part of the thing is through my own experiences since I started this process is that a lot of guys are also having these same issues. It just may not being talked about quite as much."

Scientists say exposure to pesticides, plastics and certain chemicals has been linked to reduced sperm quality, but there are other factors that can impact a person's fertility like poor nutrition, smoking, stress, and drinking an excessive amount of alcohol.

Kozlowski says he and his wife were already very focused on their health, so he was advised to start taking a prenatal vitamin for men.

"And then after several months of being on the prenatal supplement, we did some testing again to find out that I was much further into the normal range or exceeding the normal range of certain conditions," Kozlowski said.

Even so, Kozlowski says he and his wife suffered through the physical and emotional heartbreak of miscarriage. After a successful second try, they are now several months into parenthood.

His next mission is to spread awareness about male infertility to end the stigma so men feel encouraged to take ownership in the 50/50 partnership it takes to have a baby.

Fertility doctors recommend men struggling to conceive with their partner eat healthy, exercise, take a prenatal, and go through testing.