In order to combat their growing population decline, the Japanese government is considering adding male infertility procedures into their new population plan, according to the Asia-focused news source Asia.Nikkei.com.
It is the goal of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to raise the fertility rate in women to 1.8, and they currently provide about 100,000 subsidized infertility treatments to women every year. However, as information and data continues to mount regarding the struggles many men have with the same issue, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare wants to incorporate subsidized male infertility procedures as well. The ambitious plan is aiming to start providing such services as early as March 2016.
At least in the United States infertility treatments are successful more often than not. Approximately 44% of women with infertility have sought medical assistance. Of those who seek medical intervention, approximately 65% give birth. When it comes to men infertility is usually the result of low, or deficient, sperm counts.
Under Japan's new proposed plan, the government would help families pay for things like testicular exams and sperm extraction, which can be very expensive and are not covered by public health insurance. Infertility procedures for men usually involve some kind of drugs, antioxidants, or hormonal therapy. Overall, about 85 to 90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgical procedures.
Details on specific subsidy amounts and procedures are unavailable at the time of this writing, but they hope to have the plan in place by the end of the year.