Written by Lizanne van Waart
Director & Founder of Wijnland Fertility Clinic / ART Counselling
MA. (Psychology) University of Stellenbosch

Never hurt a man’s ego.  That ego is their existence. Don’t take it away from them.  Just stroke it subtly from time to time. And see for yourself how much better they do.  Krishnapriya Murlimanohar

An estimated – 30 million men worldwide are estimated to be infertile.

(Study of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, Centre Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA, 2015).
  • Highest rates in Africa and Eastern Europe – can range from 20% – 70% in different parts of world.
  • In South Africa roughly 40% men are affected. (we do not have stats)
  • 2017 – Israeli study – total sperm count of men – North America, Europa and Australia – 59.3% reduced – sperm concentration 52,4% reduced in 40 years –
  • Sperm count is decreasing in men!!!

Urgent wakeup call!

Male Magic – let’s talk the “Male Tale” – Guys, know your fertility and health status.
Can you cure male infertility? | Fertility Clinic

We need to optimize psychological resources for men – “No sperm man” cannot relate with themselves as how they will attach with donor sperm?
My whole life is falling apart because of a piece of paper “your count of zero!  “Shooting blanks” 

  • Male awareness and knowledge of male diagnosis are critical.
  • Men need more information, guidance, and options of emotional support/counselling available.

Zero Sperm Count } Fertility ClinicThe Male Reproductive System 

Human reproduction requires both male and female gametes. Gametes are special sex cells that contain the genetic information necessary to create a new life.

Men produce millions of gametes called sperm. Producing sperm is the main function of the male reproductive system.

Sperm are tadpole-shaped male sex cells that carry the genetic information necessary for reproduction. They are haploid cells, meaning they only have 23 chromosomes — half the number of a typical human cell. If the sperm succeeds in fertilizing an egg, the genes it contains will help determine many of the new child’s traits.

Sperm may play a big role in reproduction, but they are the smallest cells in the male body. The average length of a sperm is about 0.05 millimetres.

Men’s bodies are constantly producing new sperm. A healthy adult man will put out millions of sperm in his semen every time he ejaculates.

How is Sperm Made?

Producing sperm is the major function of the male reproductive system. The medical or scientific term for when your body makes sperm is spermatogenesis. The first step in spermatogenesis is for your body to make the necessary hormones. The three main hormones needed are:

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Testosterone

Both FSH and LH are made by your pituitary gland, located in the base of your brain. LH promotes testosterone production in the testicles, and FSH stimulates testicular growth and helps sperm mature.

Testosterone is made in your testicles and is responsible for developing and maintaining masculine characteristics. Men often have deeper voices and facial hair because of the testosterone they produce.

FSH, LH, and testosterone work together to help your body continuously produce sperm.
Once your body has made enough hormones, sperm begin to develop within a system of tiny tubes called seminiferous tubules inside your testicles. Sperm start as simple round cells that must mature and transform to their tadpole-like shape.

After the sperm have begun to transform, they move to another part of the male reproductive system called the epididymis to continue their development. The epididymis is another long tube-like structure in your scrotum, close to your testicles. Mature sperm will stay in the epididymis until they are ejaculated.

Producing a mature sperm takes a little over 70 days from start to finish.

How to know if you are a infertile male? | Wijnland Fertility Clinic“APHRODITE (Greek Mythology): a goddess of fertility, sexuality and procreation who is the female counterpart of POSEIDON, the male god for women’s fertility.
One of her origin stories describes her being born from the castrated genitals of the Sky god, Ouranos. She is often depicted as the creator of glorious offspring.”

Elsa Van BlerkElsa van Blerk, our embryologist and Head of Andrology summaries this great article to address this new field of male fertility.


Semen quantity and quality are typically used as measures of male fecundity through the conventional analysis of sperm parameters (Esteves, 2022a), including sperm count, morphology, motility and volume, as defined in the sixth edition of the WHO, 2021.To establish the diagnosis and plan treatment strategies, further investigations in addition to semen analysis should be undertaken to identify the underlying cause of infertility based on the factors that can impact male fertility (Esteves, 2022a; Esteves and Humaidan, 2023) in line with published guidelines and algorithms (Minhasetal.,2021; Schlegeletal.,2021).

However, in most cases, the assessment of male infertility frequently falls short, and is typically limited to basic semen analysis (Pozzietal.,2021).While assessing the infertile male is clinically relevant, the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies available remain controversial, and there is a prevailing notion that intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may provide the couple with a baby without the need to explain the nature or cause of the underlying male infertility (Esteves,2022c).

Aphrodite Criteria:

1. Improve semen parameters for natural conception
2. Improve semen quantity/or quality for ART treatment

Clinical parameters:


The APHRODITE criteria offer a novel and standardized patient stratification system for male infertility independent of aetiology and/or altered spermatogenesis, facilitating communication among clinicians, researchers and patients to improve reproductive outcomes following hormonal therapy.

APHRODITE is proposed as a basis for future trials of the hormonal treatment of male infertility.

NB: Wijnland Fertility Male Clinic 0pened in 2020.
Please visits our website for more information.
If you have a suspect male factor, new hope is emerging.
There are help for Guys Shooting Blanks – Come and see us.