Low sperm counts creating crisis

pensive

Infertility is a problem too often mistakenly focused on the woman. But increasing male infertility is making it even harder for couples to conceive and may be important enough to influence declining birth rates in many countries. This according to a report from the European Science Foundation (ESF).

More than 10% of couples experience some kind of infertility globally. The demand for IVF and other assisted reproductive techniques is increasing as is the market for surrogate mothers.

In spite of the focus on women, it’s men who have the interesting and alarming statistics regarding infertility. Sperm counts have dropped in the last 50 years in industrialized nations. At least one man between the ages of 18 and 25 is having difficulty procreating with sperm in the subfertile range. Testosterone levels are declining simultaneously. Additionally, there has been an increase in testicular cancer in industrialized nations as well as an increase in other testicular abnormalities, like undescended testes.

“One important impact of men’s reproductive health on a couple’s fertility is often overlooked,” said Professor Niels Skakkebaek from the University of Copenhagen, who co-authored the report. “Women postponing motherhood have reduced fertility, and we now see that poor sperm may be making it even harder to conceive. While poor sperm may be part of the reason more couples are using IVF it may also be making those therapies less successful.”

Low testosterone is dangerous in other ways as well. It may predispose men to cardiovascular and metabolic health challenges that pose stress on national healthcare systems and individual families. Low sperm counts and low testosterone are also both associated with premature death in men.

Source: ESF, ScienceDaily


 
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