Sperm counts may be declining globally, review finds, adding to debate over male fertility

Why more men are 'shooting blanks': "We’re not as healthy as we once were"

CNN — Over the past 50 years, human sperm counts appear to have fallen by more than 50% around the globe, according to an updated review of medical literature.

Semen quality can be an important marker of overall health

If the findings are confirmed and the decline continues, it could have important implications for human reproduction. Researchers say it would also be a harbinger of declining health in men in general, since semen quality can be an important marker of overall health.

The review, and its conclusions, have sparked a debate among experts in male fertility.

Some say the findings are real and urgent, but others say they are not convinced by the data because the methods of counting sperm have changed so much over time that it’s not possible to compare historical and modern numbers.

“I think one of the fundamental functions of any species is reproduction. So I think if there is a signal that reproduction is in decline, I think that’s a very important finding,” said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, a urologist with Stanford Medicine who was not involved in the review.

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Microplastics: A Threat for Male Fertility

“We know that stress of the mother, maternal smoking and especially exposure to manmade chemicals that are in plastic disrupt the development of the male reproductive system.” – Dr. Hagai Levine, epidemiologist, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

We did it to ourselves…

Overall male health may be in decline

“There is a strong link between a man’s reproductive health and his overall health. So it could also speak to that too, that maybe we’re not as healthy as we once were,” he said.

Others say that while the review was well-done, they are skeptical about its conclusions.

“The way that semen analysis is done has changed over the decades. It has improved. It has become more standardized, but not perfectly,” said Dr. Alexander Pastuczak, a surgeon and assistant professor the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. He was not involved in the review.

“Even if you were to take the same semen sample and run it and do a semen analysis on it in the 1960s and ’70s versus today, you’d get two different answers,” he said …READ MORE.

“Much of the planet is swimming in discarded plastic, which is harming animal and possibly human health. Once at sea, sunlight, wind, and wave action break down plastic waste into small particles: the microplastics (MPs) … Recent studies revealed the deleterious effects of MPs exposure in male reproduction and sperm quality, making them a potential hazard to reproductive success.” – Microplastics: A Threat for Male Fertility, National Library of Medicine, March 1, 2021


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