Reasons for the ‘shocking’ drop are unclear, say researchers, and represent a huge and neglected area of public health
Sperm counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, research suggests, 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 in western countries 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….
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. …
It would be interesting to see whether there’s a correlation with breast cancer rates in women in western countries in the past 40 years.
The researchers’ claimed ignorance of causes beggars belief. Most likely, they just want to play the “publish or perish” game without ruffling feathers. This was probably necessary in order to get the paper published in the first place. I think we can probably say this is a “progress report” for the benefit of a certain elite audience.
Between this and american medicine’s uniquely barbarous war on male sexuality, I’m starting to feel like an endangered species.