Men's Articles


A contraceptive is any agent or device used for the prevention of conception (fertilization of an egg by a sperm cell). It is a fact that four out of five women who have unprotected intercourse become pregnant in a year. The one common thing about selecting a method of birth control is that someone is trying to prevent a pregnancy at that moment.

Beyond that, everyone's personal situation regarding birth control is different and can change over time. Satisfaction and success with a contraceptive device is influenced to a great extent by personal attitudes and preferences. The importance of sexual spontaneity, the ease with which the contraceptive can be used, the comfort with one's own body, and the partner's openness about birth control - all contribute toward the proper selection of the best contraceptive for each person.

All contraceptives sold as prescription or provided by qualified medical professionals have been tested for safety. These are generally medically safe when used properly. Of course, there are a few people who cannot use certain contraceptives because of specific medical problems. Again, a health care provider can properly direct each person to the safest and most effective contraceptive.

There is a lot of misinformation about birth control. Withdrawal is not a good method of birth control. The sperm can be passed before the male can withdraw and is found frequently in male seminal fluids dispersed prior to withdrawal. And douches do not prevent pregnancy. Effective contraception is based on good information and follow-through.

Choosing a method of contraception is a personal decision made by each individual, with help from a qualified medical professional. Many important issues must be considered when selecting a contraceptive. As with all medications or devices, it is very important that all patient labeling and instructions that come with the product are carefully read. Any questions or concerns should be discussed with your qualified medical professional.

Perturbed By Fertility Check

I Have Been Married For Three Years And We Are Childless. During An Investigation, I Was Asked To Produce A Semen Sample Via Masturbation. l Was Not Comfortable With This. Is It A Must For A Fertility Investigation?

Sperm abnormalities account for about 30 per cent of infertility cases, and semen analysis is important in the evaluation. It is an easy, non-invasive test and gives information on problems in the male genital organs. However, it does not assess sperm function. It suggests sperm function based on certain characteristics. Whether the sperm can successfully fertilise an egg and produce a healthy baby remains unknown. Another limitation is that results may vary from day to day.

Thus, if the first test is unsatisfactory, two or more samples, two to four weeks apart, may have to be examined. The semen is collected after about three days of abstinence. There are two methods of collection. One is by masturbation. Semen is ejaculated into a clean, wide-mouthed bottle. If you are uncomfortable with masturbation, an alternative is to collect the semen in a special condom without spermicide during sexual intercourse. Care should be taken not to spill the semen when the condom is removed.

Ejaculation through oral sex does not give accurate results as saliva interferes with sperm count. Coitus interruptus (pulling out the penis during ejaculation) is also not satisfactory as some good sperm may leak out before ejaculation. Important characteristics measured by basic semen analysis include: Semen viscosity: After ejaculation, the semen liquefies, in general, after about 30 minutes. This allows the sperm free motility. Thick semen suggests infection. 

Sperm Count: The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers 20 million sperm and above per millilitre to be normal. Factors such as viral fever, sexually transmitted diseases, temperature and ejaculation frequencies can affect the count.

Motility: This refers to the sperm's ability to swim and move forward quickly. Infection, illnesses and toxins such as tobacco can affect movement. At least 50 per cent of sperm need to be motile in order to be considered "normal" and at least 50 per cent must be alive. 

Morphology: This refers to the shape of the sperm. At least 30 per cent should have a normal shape, according to the WHO. Under another system, at least 14 per cent of sperm must meet the standards. Again, infection and toxins can affect morphology.

White Blood Cell Count: High levels of white blood cells in the semen may indicate infection. It is important to note that none of these characteristics is absolutely required to achieve a successful pregnancy. In other words, it is still possible for a man whose semen fails one or more of these standards to impregnate his wife, although the chances may be reduced.


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