Declining Sperm Quality in North America

In a recent, jarring analysis of research scientists have noted a dramatic drop in the quality of sperm found in men across North America, Europe, and Australia. This 52.4 percent drop is of much concern to this Viera, Florida fertility centers because is never only a woman’s issue. One-third of all infertility cases can be drawn back to the male partner, and this discovery of declining sperm quality is a huge wake-up call for fertility centers around the country.

The Study

The study in question was the most comprehensive of its time. It is fair to say that this study has its critics who question the some of the data included, but Shanna H. Swan, an author of this study, notes that this study includes all the relevant data from researched published in English. She hopes that it can help the scientific community to move forward in understanding why this is happening.

This study analyzed data from 185 studies and 42,000 men from around the world between the years of 1973 and 2011. They concluded that over the past 40 years male fertility has taken a nosedive and resulted in a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration. The data suggests that men in Western cultures have been the most affected – by what researchers can’t say yet. However, the reason why men from South America, Asia, and Africa may not have presented a decline in fertility could be due to cultural factors or misrepresentation in data. With more data from every country in the world, researchers can have a better understanding the apparent decrease in male fertility.

One of the most notable factors of this study was the data collected from “unselected” men, or men who were young, had no children, and partners who were not pregnant. In 1973 researchers estimated that this group of men had an average sperm concentration of 99 million per millilitre, but in 2011 researchers now estimate that number has dropped to 47 million per millilitre. Any count less than 40 million is considered to have an impaired chance of conception. The research suggests that many young men are going to be unable to conceive children in the future.

Why Is This Happening?

This research is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to male fertility research. The scientists who authored this study hope that this data will inspire a world-wide look into the mysteries of male fertility. Some possible conclusions drawn from the data included in the studies point to damage done during fetal development. If the mother smoked, was overly stressed, ate harmful foods, or was exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals during the sensitive first trimester, these seem to have an affect on male fertility. However over his lifespan a man has a major effect on his fertility with his nutrition and activity level choices. Further, exposure to lead, x-rays, stress, and endocrine disrupting chemicals can also affect sperm quality in a male during puberty and even as a sexually mature man.

What Can I Do?

For men struggling to conceive with their partners this news can come as a shock and begin to cause worry. After one year of unprotected intercourse seeing a fertility specialist can help you to understand the cause of your unique issues. Tests will be run on both male and female partners and if sperm quality is found to be the cause of infertility, our Melbourne, Florida fertility specialist may have a few options for you. Sperm analysis is a very simple procedure where a sample of sperm is evaluated for sperm count, motility, and morphology. Sperm are continually created in the testes and their quality can be changed by a change in diet and lifestyle. However, in some cases hormonal issues, genetic abnormalities, and physical obstructions can impair theses sex cells from getting to the uterus and meeting with an egg. A semen analysis will determine this, and help your fertility specialist understand what therapy may be right for you. In some cases intrauterine insemination is the best way to enable a couple to conceive when male fertility is impaired. This treatment selects the sperm from a sample and implants it into the uterus where it may connect with an ovum and develop into a child. If you and your partner have been unsuccessful in conceiving a child after one year of unprotected intercourse, it may be time to speak with a Viera, Florida fertility specialist. Dr. Chamoun can evaluate your condition and help you and your partner conceive.

While these recent findings about male fertility are alarming, it is important to remember that your Viera, Florida fertility specialist can help you understand your fertility struggles and may be able to help you overcome them. If you are seeking a path to parenthood, call our offices today.