Thursday, October 6, 2022

Health: Sperm Counts Among Men Have Halved In The Last 40 Years

New research has shown that spermatozoa counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, although the drivers behind the decline remain unclear.The latest findings reveal that between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate of men has fallen by an average of 1.4% a year, leading to an overall drop of just over 52%. “The results are quite shocking,” said Hagai Levine, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.While infertility treatments such as IVF can offer solutions to potential ramifications of the decline on one level, little has been done to address the root of the issue, said Levine, pointing out low sperm counts might also be an indicator of poorer health among men more generally. “This is a classic under the radar huge public health problem that is really neglected,” he said.The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update by an international team of researchers, drew on 185 studies conducted between 1973 and 2011, involving almost 43,000 men. The team split the data based on whether the men were from western countries – including Australia and New Zealand as well as countries in North America and Europe – or from elsewhere.After accounting for factors including age and how long men had gone without ejaculation, the team found that sperm concentration fell from 99 million per ml in 1973 to 47.1 million per ml in 2011 – a decline of 52.4%. For the same group, total sperm count – the number of sperm in a semen sample – fell by just under 60%.In addition, a less dramatic decline in sperm concentration since the 1970s was seen for western men who were known to have conceived with a partner, but there was no clear trend for total sperm count in this group. By contrast, no such trends were seen for men in other countries – although the authors caution that far fewer studies have been carried out among such populations.Photo Credit: Getty

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