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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
# little swimmers
Warning of 'huge public health problem' as men's sperm counts have halved in last 40 years
Sperm counts among men in western countries dropped by over 50% between 1973 and 2011.

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HUMAN SPERM COUNTS are falling dramatically, and show no signs of stopping, according to a newly-published academic study.

The research suggests that sperm counts (the number of sperm produced, as opposed to their fertility) have reduced by more than 50% in western men in the last 40 years.

Between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm for men in developed countries has fallen by an average of 1.4% per year, 52% in total.

Not only are the measured counts continuing to fall, but no concrete reasons for the decline has been given by the researchers involved.

“The results are quite shocking,” said Hagai Levine, an Israeli and lead author of the study, according to the Guardian.

This is a classic under the radar huge public health problem that is really neglected.

The study, which can be read here as published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, involved a team of international researchers and involved 185 studies conducted between 1973 and 2011, involving nearly 43,000 men from such countries as Australia and New Zealand, together with males from parts of North America and Europe.

The researchers found that sperm counts have fallen from 99 million per millilitre (ml) in 1973 to just 47.1 million per ml 38 years later.

As regards the total sperm count in samples of human semen – that was found to have fallen by just under 60%.

The decline was seen to be slightly less dramatic for those men who had conceived with a partner.

Countries outside the western world were also considered in the research, including nations in Asia, South America, and Africa. “No significant declines” were seen in those regions, according to the study.

However, the researchers caveat this information with the fact it may be “accounted for by limited statistical power and an absence of studies in unselected men from these countries prior to 1985″.

While the study claims to be definitive in that it has tackled criticisms of other such fertility studies which were accused of failing to take into account changing laboratory conditions among other things, it fails to offer concrete reasons for why the phenomenon is being seen.

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