Recent studies found that males’ sperm concentration from western countries such as North America, Australia, and Europe has declined. In the last four decades, the sperm count of these said demographics decreased by 50 percent.
IT IS NOT A GOOD NEWS
This first ever meta-analysis conducted showed that the rate of decline is rapid. The findings of the study of Hagai Levine of Hebrew University and co-researcher of the large-scale research serves as a wake-up call. This call goes out to all people who work in the research field and those who work in health authorities. He stated that more investigations should be conducted to understand further the cause of the sperm count drop.
The case study involved 43, 000 men. The findings showed that between 1973 to 2011, there has been an average of 52 percent decrease in sperm count. This shocked the scientists considering the rapid rate and the number of declines.
However, this may not be the case for every part of the globe. Although Shanna Swan, senior researcher, can attest to the findings, she says that the there were not enough data collected from other countries. Therefore, the conclusions can be isolated to Western countries only.
SPERM COUNT AND CONCENTRATION OVER THE YEARS
Research works have been conducted ever since the 1990s. At that time, the study published in 1992 showed that the sperm count has declined by 50 percent over the last four decades. Apparently, the recent findings made after 25 years since the first research did not show any difference. When researchers looked at the data, there has not been any improvements. In fact, the constant decline raised concerns not only on the issue of fertility but also on health in general.
Although the data collected shows the numbers, the researchers, however, can not pinpoint the exact causes and reasons of sperm count decline. However, most scientists agree that this is most likely linked to modern lifestyle. Swan enumerated a few possible reasons. She said that it could be because of exposure to chemicals and toxins. Lifestyle may also greatly contribute such as lack of physical exercise. She also pointed out poor nutrition. Smoking and alcohol may be culprits, too.
All those above have their ways of affecting a man’s fertility. What troubles scientists the most is the fact that the issue is more than just an issue on baby-making. According to them, men with low sperm counts are at risk of dying at a young age. They are also more prone to illnesses caused by cardiovascular disease and cancer. They agree that the issue is about a person’s general health and well being.
WHAT IF THE DECLINE CONTINUES?
Dr. Peter Schlegel, professor, and urologist in New York City said that the decline could cause a huge impact. If the decline of sperm count and concentration progress in number over time, there may come a time that this will be more than just a health issue but a social problem, too. Many couples would require fertility treatment and when untreated would result in a problem in marriage and relationships.