Sperm production is declining rapidly worldwide

Global seed crisis threatens male fertility

In less than 50 years, the number of sperm in semen has decreased by 62 percent, Israeli researchers reported. This is faster than expected. Researchers fear that male fertility is at risk.

The 62 percent drop since 1973 is related to the number of sperm found in an average ejaculation. On average, the number of sperm cells per ejaculate is usually between 40 and 300 million per milliliter. A 2017 study found that between 1973 and 2011, sperm counts in Western men fell by more than 50 percent during a single ejaculation. The same researchers looked at what had happened over the past ten years. To do this, they looked at several studies of semen from 2014 to 2019. Then they added that data to their old data.

The result is that between 1973 and 2018, the average sperm concentration fell from 101 million sperm cells per milliliter to 49 million sperm cells. That is a minus 51.6 percent. And since 2000, this annual decline has accelerated. The new data also includes semen samples from men from South and Central America, Africa and Asia, providing a better overall picture than the original 2017 analysis. The study is published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

“Fighting the Global Seed Crisis”

According to senior researcher Hagai Levine of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, there is a global seed crisis. “Our results are like a canary in a coal mine. We have a serious problem that, if left unsolved, could jeopardize the survival of humanity. We call for urgent global action to reduce exposure to promote a healthier environment and reduce reproductive problems,” he told the Times of Israel.

Previous studies have shown that fertility is compromised when sperm concentration falls below 40 million sperm cells per milliliter. According to the latest estimates, while the average is still above that number, Levine believes there will eventually be more men under 40 million. He suggests that at the current rate of decline, this figure will be the global average ten years from now. Incidentally, the study paid no attention to the quality of the sperm. The cause of the decline has also not been investigated.

Sperm production is also considered an indicator of men’s health and has been associated with lower production, an increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer and a shorter lifespan.

  • Author: editors
  • Source: Gezondheids Net

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