Male Infertility w/ Dr. Paul Turek
Could IVF Be Good For Men's Health?
World-renowned reproductive urologist Dr. Turek joins us today. He has been at the forefront of IVF and ICSI since the early 90’s. He shares the latest happenings in both his research and his clinics in San Francisco and Beverly Hills, along with the ways Eastern Medicine compliments Western treatment, his thoughts on prenatals, single gene vs. chromosomal gene mutations, the sobering reality of advanced paternal age and some groundbreaking discoveries that are both provocative and backed by science. He is a soulful and lighthearted clinician and is committed to making things as easy and relatable as possible for his clients.
[:01] Dr. Turerk advises the ABORM board that I am a fellow of, and is a graduate of both Yale and Stanford University. He teaches at Yo San University and has countless studies he has both authored and advised. The first time I heard him speak at the International Infertility Symposium in Vancouver in 2015, I was blown away. He was so intelligent and generous with his ideas and research and really was the first person that made male fertility issues relatable to me.
[3:01] Dr. Turek explains his comparison of a semen analysis to a game of cards. When the motility is not normal, that is an indicator to him that something isn’t right.
[9:18] The whole story is not all about the semen analysis, but it’s a good way to begin the conversation of man’s habits when it comes to diet, recreational drug use, lifestyle, weight, etc. Dr. Turek is captivated by the thought of going into a deeper dive of the cause behind the semen’s quality and performance.
[11:17] As a TCM practitioner, I feel like I was taught about epigenetics with different languaging, referring to our Jing or essence being affected by our lifestyle dictating what we will pass down. Dr. Turek confirms that science has proven it correct in epigenetic studies that lifestyle really does matter.
[14:02] Dr. Turek explains what epigenetics is, and how he helped to develop Episona, a test for epigenetics and sperm quality through sperm analysis.
[17:15] We discuss how epigenetics may be related to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is about 30-80% of the cause of male infertility.
[18:05] The data for men taking a prenatal is very strong, and is something Dr. Turek recommends and actually developed a supplement for men. The data is still getting more compiled on this, and the research in the field is still new and emerging. Men are not the easiest subjects to keep engaged in study, however, and he is committed to making it easy and sensible for them to share information and data in his studies.
[25:34] The richest man in America lives 5-7 years less than the poorest women. Dr. Turker has an attitude of wanting to engage men and building their trust so they are part of the solution in making their own health better. One of his main goals out of his career is to have men live longer.
[27:25] Dr. Turek shares the current state of advanced paternal age. Himself and co-author Alex Yatsenko published a review entitled, “Reproductive Genetics in the Aging Male” This is a recent problem, as we haven’t lived this long, people are waiting longer to reproduce and we are exposed to more toxicity than ever, affected our epigenetic expression.
[32:56] Dr. Turek talks about the chromosomal issues that occur in women, vs. the single gene mutations in men. He also addresses birth defect rates differing in other countries, and if low sperm counts are being passed on through generations.
[43:33] Dr. Turek has created what I think to be the first Natural Selection Obstacle Course for sperm .
[54:14] A lot of unexplained infertility can be cleared with a simple visit to a trusted source. Dr. Turek makes it as easy as possible and does virtual consultations. He likes to first see if it’s a good fit, and speak with both partners at the start to select the appropriate care for their situation.
[56:57] Work with what you have. IVF could be good for men's health if that's the only time you get them to the doctor and you work with a responsible physician that views an abnormal semen analysis as a marker for health and goes looking for the cause of that poor semen analysis.
[60:40] Clinic by the Bay, Dr. Turek’s free clinic, just had a big fundraiser to help people from all walks of life receive medical care.
References & Links to Take You Further:
Reproductive genetics and the aging male https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29524155
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