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Infertility shadow on Sec V

The late shifts, stress and unhealthy lifestyle that often come with a tech job are robbing many Calcuttans of the joy of fatherhood.

“The number of patients with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and lack of sexual desire in the city is increasing. These dysfunctions have a direct link with increased stress, excessive smoking and drinking and even substance abuse — many of my patients use ganja. Also, infertility can run in the family,” said urologist Kaushik Mullick.

Low sperm count and low motility (ability of the sperm to swim up the uterus to fertilise the egg after being deposited in the vagina) are some of the other reasons behind male infertility or the inability to contribute biologically to conception.

The ailments are collectively referred to as “Sector V Syndrome” in many hospitals as many of the patients have jobs in the tech town.

“Male infertility cases are increasing because of growing levels of stress and anxiety, fast food diet and even tight garments,” said infertility expert Baidyanath Chakraborty.

According to him, tight underwear or jeans could come in the way of becoming a father, especially of those who sit and work long hours.

“The scrotum maintains a temperature one degree Fahrenheit less than that of the body but tight clothing pushes up that temperature and reduces the ability to produce sperm,” explained the doctor. A cold scrotal bath or keeping the testis dipped in water during bath is prescribed in such cases.

Gynaecologist Abhinibesh Chatterjee, who used to get two male infertility patients a day in 2008, now gets five a day, 10 per cent of all the patients he sees.

Doctors said 70 per cent of the patients with male infertility could be cured.

“There is medication for all the dysfunctions. If medication fails, there are other ways. For example, a penile prosthesis could help someone with erectile dysfunction,” said Mullick.

“Surgery is usually not required. Counselling along with medication like a papaverine injection, which has to be self administered with an insulin syringe, can ensure erection. A dose of dapoxetine can help those suffering from early ejaculation,” said Chatterjee, a consultant gynaecologist at Columbia Asia hospital.

The hospital recently held a workshop on male infertility during which it emerged that many general practitioners did not know how to deal with male infertility.

In the case of a techie couple, several months of visits to doctors revealed that the wife could not conceive because of the husband, who was suffering from both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

“We held counselling sessions and gave him medicines. But even after one year, during which he cut down on smoking, the wife was still not pregnant. Finally, on medical recommendation, he reduced the number of night shifts he was doing,” said Chatterjee. The wife conceived soon after.