Male migrant workers exposed to high temperatures at risk of infertility

  • Working environment and stress also affect reproductive health of males

Kathmandu, May 20

Doctors have expressed concern about increasing infertility among male migrant workers exposed to high temperatures.

At a programme organised here today, doctors said work environment and stress also affected reproductive health of males.

“Higher temperature can impair sperm production. It just does not only affect the quantity but also the quality. Prolonged exposure to the heat works against one’s reproductive health. Semen production is low in people working in high temperatures.

As Nepali migrants, especially those working in the Gulf countries, are exposed to extremely high temperatures they are at risk of becoming infertile,” said Dr Sabina Shrestha, consultant obstetrician and infertility expert at Om Hospital.

It takes about 70 days for the sperm to develop and mature.

“But in people exposed to extremely high temperatures, the cycle of sperm development and maturity gets disturbed and it takes three months for sperms to develop and mature. As migrant workers return home only for a short vacation, the treatment procedure is difficult to continue on them. This is why infertility among migrant workers is increasing,” added Dr Shrestha.

As per Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, the Department of Foreign Employment issued 3,509,633 labour permits between fiscal 2008/09 and 2016/17. This figure does not include those who migrated to the Republic of Korea under Employment Permit System.

Dr Shrestha said Nepali migrants returned home for a very short time and there were less chances of their wives to conceive during this period. “This is why many wives of migrant workers have been unable to conceive,” said the doctor.

At the programme, infertility specialists also shed light on the progress made in reproductive health care in Nepal and India. Dr Jatin Shah infertility expert from Mumbai talked about the effectiveness and the risk of using intrauterine insemination n the treatment of infertility.

Dr Bhola Rijal, senior obstetrician and gynaecologist, said infertility treatment should also reach rural areas.