'Man Up': the importance and strategy for placing male reproductive health centre stage in the political and research agenda.

Librarian's Comment : Controversial and thought-provoking opinion article on the state of male reproductive health research. The Authors point out significant knowledge gaps in Andrology, arguing that the success of ICSI is largely responsible for limiting innovation in the field. It is noteworthy to mention that, according to the Authors, such knowledge gaps affect fundamental aspects of male reproductive health. For instance, the still pervasive inter-lab technical variability in semen analysis (exemplarily illustrated by the latest report of the Quality Control Programme of the German Society of Andrology ), or the stagnant development of new male contraceptives. While some of these issues will remain controversial, that is clearly not the case for the underlying message of the article. Indeed, the Andrology field has to become a tighter, more unified community in order to bring male reproductive health to the forefront of the political agenda.
Published in : Human reproduction (Oxford, England)
Authors : Barratt CLR, De Jonge CJ, Sharpe RM

Abstract : Approximately 1 in 20 young men today have sperm counts low enough to impair fertility, whereas this may not have been the case historically. The cause(s) of such a decline in male reproductive health is unknown, despite it being a global health issue. Concomitantly, little progress has been made in answering fundamental questions in andrology or in developing new diagnostic tools or alternative management strategies to ICSI in infertile men. We advocate formulation of a detailed roadmap for male reproductive health to facilitate development of a research agenda that highlights the present unmet needs and key unanswered questions, and seeks to deliver effective funding and investment to address them. This vision we term 'a Male Reproductive Health Ecosystem'.

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