Declining Male Sperm Count Is at a Global
Crisis Level

By Medscape Staff

January 30, 2023

A meta-analysis of sperm count in men on six continents shows an alarming decline that continues to accelerate, according to an international team of researchers at Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Hadassah Braun School of Public Health.

What to know:

  • Overall, there is a significant worldwide decline in sperm counts of more than 50% in the past 46 years, a decline that has accelerated in recent years.

  • S perm count declines among men from South and Central America, Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, and Australia have accelerated in the last 5 years and reflects a global crisis related to our modern environment and lifestyle, with broad implications for the survival of the human species.

  • The declines in men's sperm concentration and total sperm counts at over 1% each year are consistent with adverse trends in other men's health outcomes, such as testicular cancer, hormonal disruption, and genital birth defects, and a decreased lifespan, as well as declines in female reproductive systems.

  • Lifestyle choices and chemicals in the environment are adversely affecting the reproductive tract during fetal development and are linked to lifetime impairment of fertility and other markers of reproductive dysfunction.

  • Without mitigation, the decline in sperm count and male reproductive health could threaten mankind's survival.

This is a summary of the article, "Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries," published by Human Reproduction Update on November 15, 2022. The full article can be found at Oxford Academic.

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