How to ensure that male infertility doesn't end in broken relationships

The World Health Organization reports that as much as 15% of reproductive-aged couples worldwide have experienced infertility.

However, much of the discussion often focuses on the female's inability to conceive.

Fertility specialist Dr Johannes van Waart and Lizanne van Waart established the Wijnland Fertility Clinic, which specialises in the treatment of both male and female fertility issues, after their own struggles to reproduce.

Dr Van Waart has encouraged men to overcome the social stigma associated with infertility, and seek medical help.

He explains that infertility can be caused either by female, male or idiopathic (unknown) issues.

According to Dr Van Waart, it is also important to distinguish between complete male infertility and sub-fertility, which is delayed conception.

He adds that between 30 - 50% of fertility problems in couples are caused by issues with a male's reproductive system.

At the same time, wife and psychologist Lizanne van Waart says men often feel that their sense of masculinity is challenged when diagnosed with fertility issues.

She explains that fertility issues, whether permanent or reversible, can cause psychological strain among couples and in other familial relationships.

The statistics are that one out of two marriages that experience infertility don't make it.

Lizanne van Waart, psychologist

The Van Waarts have two practices in Stellenbosch and Somerset West to help treat and counsel couples.

We try help couples have a baby. It's quite a long and challenging journey.

Dr Johannes van Waart, fertility experts

The pair warns that smoking, stress, medical side-effects and excessive exercise are all contributing factors to male infertility.

They answered several questions relating to male fertility during the Health Feature on The Pippa Hudson Show.

Listen to the full conversation:

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