Study: Rising male impotency affecting birth rate in Malaysia

One-third of the fertility problems plaguing Malaysians involve males, according to Kosmo! It said recent research conducted by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia indicated a decline in semen quality among men aged 20 to 30 by 43 per cent.

The decline in fertility rate among Malaysian males has also affected birth rate, with an average of every family in the country having only 1.9 children last year.

A global study on fertility among men has also shown that the average sperm count started dropping since 1930.

Dr Agilan Mizhikal, a specialist at Fertility Centre Kuala Lumpur, attributed the decline among Malaysian men to a variety of factors, such as an unhealthy lifestyle and exposure to foods containing chemicals.

"For example, men in Malaysia like to consume processed food added with flavouring and colouring. These habits can affect their sperm quality," he said.

Dr Agilan said free sex and the constant change in sexual partners could also be a factor.

Andrologist Dr Ismail Tambi said stress at work could cause the production of unhealthy or defective sperm.

He also noted that "five out of 10 men" in Malaysia nowadays had no time for sex with their partners due to work stress and other lifestyle pressure, including traffic jams.