Young men in Spain have experienced significant drop in sperm quality

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The comparative study in the evolution of sperm quality over the course of ten years has been released. In this study which focused on Spanish young men, researchers from the University of Murcia found that the sperm concentration in men between 18 and 23 years has dropped by an annual average of 2%.

38% decrease in sperm count

The multidisciplinary and international study headed by the Department of Preventative Medicine and Public Health of the University of Murcia shows that “total sperm count and concentration ha declined amongst young men in the southeast of Spain in the last decade.” The decrease totals 38%.

The lead researcher, Alberto Torres Cantero, explained that the data was achieved by “comparing the results obtained by the Medical Research Centre of the University of Granada from the semen of 273 men from Almeria between 18 and 23 years, collected between 2001 and 2002, with those samples collected ten years later by 215 undergraduates from Murcia, all the while ensuring that both sample groups had the same age range and similar characteristics.”

Count and quality dropped below normal

They found that the sperm count and quality were significantly lower in the men from Murcia compared to the men from Almeria. In addition to a lower concentration of sperm, they found that 40% of the men from Murcia had alterations in at least one semen parameter (morphology, mobility). In 15% of all the samples, all sperm indicators were below the normal range.

Lifestyle changes could help

It is important to note that the research project was not measuring fertility. It may be that the men’s fertility levels are unaffected by the changes in sperm. Still, the data is worrisome. If this is a downward trend, perhaps preventive measures could be taken to ensure fertility does not become a problem later on. They are now hoping to perform clinical trials to identify effective changes which will reverse the trend. “We believe that some prevention actions involving lifestyle improvements, such as a healthier diet, could increase sperm quality,” said Albert Torres.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Andrology


 
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