SEOUL– Male infertility in South Korea rose dramatically in the past five years due to people getting married late, heavy workloads and stress, a local report said Tuesday.

The number of male infertility cases surged 55 percent to 61,903 last year from 39,933 in 2011, according to the report by the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA).

Female infertility, meanwhile, increased a mere 3 percent to 157,207 from 153,048 during the same time span.

Infertility is defined by the inability to have a baby despite trying in the past year.

Doctors attribute the rising male infertility numbers to the recent trend of people tying the knot much later in life compared to the past and various stress caused by long work hours, which is common in South Korea.

Another reason is a growing number of men consulting doctors in recent years unlike in the past when mostly only women saw doctors for infertility treatments, they said.

“Married couples tend to visit hospitals together these days unlike in the past when infertility was seen as the problem for the women alone,” Kim Dae-geun of Cha Hospital said.

 

Source: Yonhap News Agency