A new study published in a Human Reproduction journal found that sperm counts have declined by half in the past ~50 years.
Even worse, the trend has been accelerating since the year 2000.
According to Fox News, some researchers are concerned that the rapid decline could “threaten mankind’s survival.”
Some experts however, have said they don’t think the conclusions are too concerning.
Dr. John K Amory, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington disagreed with their findings.
But many experts in the scientific community remain skeptical of the findings. Fox News quoted Amory expressing his misgivings.
“The conclusions of the Levine group — that sperm concentrations are declining globally and that the decline has accelerated — are not shared by many in the andrology community. “Moreover, the mean sperm concentrations observed in these studies remain well within the range of values thought to be consistent with normal fertility in men.”
Sperm Declines Accelerating
The research group conducted a meta-analysis, which looked at more than 250 studies covering 53 countries.
They found that sperm concentration went down by 62% between 1973-2018.
Even more disturbingly, the rate of decline appeared to increase, from 1.2% each year to 2.6% after the year 2000.
What’s even more concerning is that no one’s entirely sure what’s causing it.
Lead author Hagai Levine discussed with Fox, saying that they didn’t entirely examine it, but “environment and lifestyle” could contribute.
“We have previously shown that disturbances in [the] male reproductive system are determined by prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals as well poor health behaviors in adulthood.”
He continued, suggesting it’s a “wake-up call” and requires further research.
“The study should serve as a wake-up call for clinicians, researchers, governments and the public, to address the reduced sperm crisis by investing in research for unknown causes and mitigating the known causes.”
Levine also said that sperm count is often an overall indicator of men’s health, so their results are undoubtedly problematic.
It’s disturbing enough that it’s happening, but the lack of explanation might be the most confusing part.
Much has obviously changed about environment and lifestyle since the 70s. But pinpointing one particular cause is extremely hard.
The first step to fixing a problem is discovering it, but the next goal has to be finding out how to reverse the trends.