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Sperm Count In Western Men Shows Huge Decline, Baffles Scientists

Update Date: Jul 26, 2017 09:04 PM EDT
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Sperm counts are plummeting among Western men
Sperm count
Studies have shown that sperm count has been declining in Western men. (Photo : Getty Images / Christopher Furlong )

A new report said that the sperm count and quality of males in the continents of Australia, Europe, and North America has dramatically declined over the past 40 years. It showed a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration.

The said report, which was published last Tues. (July 25), is the most in-depth and largest one. It looked into 185 studies, with 42,000 men from around the world between the years 1973 and 2011. Sadly, this might have confirmed that male reproductive health could be dwindling.

More Details About The Sperm Count Study

According to The Washington Post, one of the authors of the new study, Shanna H. Swan, said that in the Human Reproduction Update, the meta-analysis is general and inclusive. She hoped it would put some vague concerns to rest. "It shows the decline is strong and that the decline is continuing," Swan said.

Swan added that the analysis tracked the drops only for men in Europe, North America, and Australia - not in South America, Asia and Africa. She explained that this could mean that there's something particular in certain cultures or regions that has an effect on their males' sperm count. Although, it was also possible that the study needs more data from the rest of the world.

Why Is This Happening?

Per USA Today, several reasons could contribute to this issue of sperm count decline. One is smoking, specifically by women who are carrying male babies. This will possibly have an effect on the sons' fertility in the future.

Another factor is the increasing rate of obesity and sedentary lifestyles, as well as pesticide use, according to the researchers. The concern about choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables could sometimes still be hazardous because of the pesticides sprayed on them. Stress also plays a big role in the reduction of sperm count in the males analyzed in the study.

What Can Be Done?

There are several things that men can do to avoid this decline. Exercise and losing weight can improve fertility. As well as reduction of exposure to chemicals by eating less canned foods and choosing organic fruits and vegetables. The researchers also said that microwaving in plastic should also be avoided if possible.

For pregnant women, they should also be mindful in avoiding pesticides and other chemicals. But there is a very small window to that because by the time a woman learns that she is pregnant, it could be too late. The male reproductive organs are already formed towards the end of the first trimester. 

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