Since the 1970s, researchers have observed a steady decline in sperm counts in men. There is still no “sperm crisis”, but the trend is serious: Even in 30 years, a large proportion of Western men could be incapable of generation.
In the last four decades, the amount of sperm in the ejaculate has decreased by 60 percent. Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem analyzed almost 250 studies involving a total of about 43,000 men. “Only” still 138 million sperm are today in the ejaculate. For comparison, in 1973, the average sperm count per ejaculation was still at 338 million. There is still no “sperm crisis”: According to the World Health Organization, 39 million sperm are still considered normal.
Although the current situation is not yet worrying, it is still the ongoing trend. With the current decline of 1.6 percent per year, many men will be unable to conceive in 30 years. Above all, men in western industrialized nations are affected.
In addition to concern for the future of humanity, another is added: A declining sperm count increases the risk of certain diseases, such as testicular cancer.
Environment and lifestyle possible cause
The scientists see the cause of the decline in sperm count, especially in environmental and lifestyle influences. These include chemicals from plastics or cosmetics that act like the female hormone estrogen. Overweight or alcohol and cigarette consumption can negatively affect sperm count.