Western Male Sperm Count Drops by Fifty Percent, Tick Tock: 22 years till the Average Western Male is Infertile
Here are the key points on the decline of Western male sperm production:
• Individual western male sperm production is dropping by about 1.16 million sperm per milliliter, per year;
• In real terms, individual western male sperm production declined from about 116 million per milliliter in the early 1970s to about 65 million per milliliter now;
• Males with 40 million sperm per milliliter are medically infertile;
• At the current rate of sperm production decline, the average male will be infertile in 22 years, (the time it will take to go from 65 million sperm per milliliter to 40 million sperm per milliliter);
• No one knows why this is happening. The only consensus among scientists is the likely cause is environmental, not genetic – speculation about the cause spans from cell phones to the rise of use of the pill, to estrogen and other chemicals in the water supply — but there is no scientific proof of any specific reason.
To stop and potentially reverse the sperm production decline, we need to find out why it is happening.
Obviously, the Western world urgently needs to fund a massive and effective and wide-ranging effort to figure out what is causing the Western male sperm decline.
The NYT reports: “The sperm count of men in Western countries has been declining precipitously with no signs of “leveling off,” according to new research, bolstering a school of thought that male health in the modern world is at risk, possibly threatening fertility. Total sperm count among the same group also tumbled each year for a total decline of 59.3 percent over the nearly 40-year period.
“By examining thousands of studies and conducting a meta-analysis of 185 — the most comprehensive effort to date — an international team of researchers ultimately looked at semen samples from 42,935 men from 50 countries from 1973 to 2011.
They found that sperm concentration — the number of sperm per milliliter of semen — had declined each year, amounting to a 52.4 percent total decline, in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.”
“‘I think that we should take this very seriously,’ says Shanna Swan, a reproductive epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who is quoted by NPR. She helped conduct the study published in the journal Human Reproduction Update. ‘I think it’s a wake-up call,’ Swan says.”
Meanwhile, from the Guardian: “The issue is further complicated because the underlying cause of these declining sperm counts remains a mystery. “Almost every aspect of modern life – from mobile phones to smoking and oral contraceptives [contaminating drinking water] – has been blamed for declining sperm counts, but no convincing evidence has emerged to link any of them to the problem,” said Professor Allan Pacey of Sheffield University.”