Upfront

Semen warning

Upfront is a quick look at the latest developments from Stanford Medicine.

A study of more than 9,000 men with fertility problems, conducted by investigators at the School of Medicine, links poor semen quality to a higher chance of having hypertension and other health conditions. The findings, published in Fertility and Sterility, may spur more-comprehensive approaches to treating male infertility.

“There are a lot of men who have hypertension, so understanding that correlation is of huge interest to us,” says lead co-author Michael Eisenberg, MD, assistant professor of urology and director of male reproductive medicine and surgery.

Eisenberg notes that either high blood pressure itself or the treatment for it could be causing reproductive malfunction. He’s actively exploring this now.

About 15 percent of all couples have fertility issues, and in half of those cases the male partner has semen deficiencies, he says. “We should be paying more attention to these millions of men. Infertility is a warning: Problems with reproduction may mean problems with overall health. That visit to a fertility clinic represents a big opportunity to improve their treatment for other conditions, which could actually help resolve the infertility they came in for in the first place.” 

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