• Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

The expert: ’15 -20% Italians can’t have children ‘

Byeditorial

Oct 22, 2021

“Couple infertility is a growing social phenomenon: 15-20% of the population of childbearing age has this problem. It is a worrying fact that we need to reflect on, given that the birth rate in our country is low. Europe, with 1.27 children for each woman. The reasons? Several. First of all, couples seek a child later and later and men in particular do not have a culture of prevention: they neglect problems and, when the couple develops the desire to enlarge the family, it is often too late “. Linda Vignozzi, associate professor of Endocrinology at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences’ Mario Serio ‘, Aouc Careggi, just appointed president-elect of the scientific society. “We know that the couple – emphasizes Vignozzi – decides to have a child later and later for social and economic reasons. But postponing the investigations, through which it is possible to discover the underlying pathologies of infertility, is a significant problem. The couple, in fact, in order to have a child she is forced to undergo increasingly invasive and expensive techniques that not everyone can afford. They are challenging paths not only from an economic point of view, but also from an emotional and psychological point of view. For this reason the Italian Society of Andrology and medicine of sexuality has for some time been promoting initiatives to sensitize the population towards an early diagnosis of pathologies that can lead to an infertility problem in the future “. Among the pathologies that can lead to infertility, according to Vignozzi the most frequent are metabolic diseases. “Overweight, obesity, reduced physical activity, a diet rich in simple sugars and low in fiber, fruit and vegetables, hypertension and cholesterol – warns the expert – are all conditions present in the very young male population. And metabolic diseases are also responsible for important hormonal alterations, seminal fluid or inflammatory at the level of the genitals, consequently reduce the potential for fertility. Fortunately these diseases are reversible and treatable, so early intervention is absolutely important “. But the first battle to be carried out is of a cultural nature: first of all because the difficulty of conceiving is much more widespread than one thinks, but often those who suffer from it are reluctant to talk about it even with their closest family or friends. Furthermore, “men do not have a culture of prevention – insists Vignozzi – They come to the andrologist always later, often too late. While for a girl who has just begun pubertal development it is normal to go to the gynecologist for the first checks, and years periodic check-ups, for the male this is not the case, despite the andrological examination providing very relevant information on reproductive health “. “The andrologist often manages to highlight pathologies of the genital tract, even very serious ones, such as testicular cancer that affects the young population. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to sensitize the population – reiterates the expert – on the importance of the andrological examination in males from the very beginning. ‘age of pubertal development, sometimes even earlier, in order to immediately highlight any alterations that may be reversible or require targeted therapies, such as for hormonal disorders that are sometimes associated with delays in pubertal development or sexual dysfunctions that occur in age more mature “. Even Covid-19, which has profoundly marked our lives in recent months, has probably had important repercussions on couple fertility, emerged from the Siams Congress underway in Bologna. “Not only has the pandemic had a strong impact on the couple’s life from a psychopathological point of view (we have cases of onset of anxiety and depression) – reports Vignozzi – but it certainly did not lead to an improvement in fertility outcomes, contrary to as much as one might think. Just think that because of the lockdown the accesses for in-depth diagnostics have drastically reduced. Furthermore, even though the couple has had more time during these 20 months to be able to devote themselves to important projects, such as having a child , in reality it was not so. And this makes it clear that fertility is a very complex problem, which must also take into consideration the psycho-sexological factors linked to the reproductive problem “.

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