The Infertility Crisis Is Beyond Doubt. But What is The Cause?
According to scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, sperm counts among men in the west have more than halved in the past 40 years and are currently falling by an average of 1.4% a year.
What could be triggering this decline in sperm? And what can be done to counter it?
We have no treatments for improving sperm production in infertile men, and we have no idea about what is the cause of the condition. We cannot remedy it. So we are completely hamstrung.”
“This creates a double whammy for fertility in modern western societies,” said Sharpe. “Couples wait until they are over 30 and then find that one or both have reproduction problems.
The issue is further complicated because the underlying cause of these declining sperm counts remains a mystery. “Almost every aspect of modern life – from mobile phones to smoking and oral contraceptives [contaminating drinking water] – has been blamed for declining sperm counts, but no convincing evidence has emerged to link any of them to the problem,” said Professor Allan Pacey of Sheffield University.
The reality of the problem is also supported by the rise in cases of testicular cancer that has taken place in recent years, he added. This also suggests that problems appear to be occurring as the male foetus develops in the womb.
And why do men outside the western world appear not to be affected?
“Unfortunately, it seems as though we might have to wait another 25 years before we might get to know the real answer.”
Shortened article by Robin McKie of the Guardian Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images
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