The low levels are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer, and a decreased lifespan. It reflects a global crisis related to our modern environment and lifestyle, with broad implications for the survival of the human species.
This latest analysis with data from 53 countries includes an additional seven years of data collection (2011-2018) and focuses on sperm count trends among men in regions not reviewed previously, specifically South America, Asia, and Africa.
For the first time, men in those regions share the significant decline in total sperm counts (TSC) and sperm concentration (SC) seen previously in North America, Europe, and Australia. Furthermore, this study shows an accelerated post-2000 decline in TSC and SC globally.
These results show that overall significant worldwide decline in sperm counts of over 50% in the past 46 years, a decline that has accelerated in recent years.
While the current study did not examine the causes of sperm count declines, they pointed to recent research indicating that disturbances in the development of the reproductive tract during fetal life are linked to lifetime impairment of fertility and other markers of reproductive dysfunction.
This calls for global action to promote healthier environments for all species and reduce exposures and behaviors that threaten our reproductive health.
The troubling declines in men’s sperm concentration and total sperm counts at over 1% each year as reported in our paper are consistent with adverse trends in other men’s health outcomes, such as testicular cancer, hormonal disruption, and genital birth defects, as well as declines in female reproductive health. This clearly cannot continue unchecked.
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