July 28, 2020

Should we be worried that our collective male sperm counts are plummeting? The simple answer is yes. Dropping sperm counts are going to cause lower fertility and less population growth for those that would want to have a family. This is not a United States centric issue as it is pervading western society. According to a Scientific American article from 2017, they write: "Sperm counts in men from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years, researchers said on Tuesday. They also said the rate of decline is not slowing.

Both findings -- in a meta-analysis bringing together various studies -- pointed to a potential decline in male health and fertility." (Kelland K. 2017)

A 2018 article in The Atlantic further discussed two more scientific papers noted even more negative data. "A pair of new studies unveiled this week at the Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Denver suggest that American and European men's sperm count and sperm motility-that is, the "swimming" ability of sperm cells-have declined in the past decade, which follows a similar, broader trend observed by many scientists over the past few decades." "Taken together, the two studies suggest that men who are already experiencing issues with infertility are experiencing further decreases in viable sperm-but fertile men are experiencing decreases in viable sperm, too."

As with every discussion in this newsletter, I am more concerned with why this is happening because that is the biological headwaters for possible change to reverse the trend.

The known: Sperm counts are dropping, sperm motility is dysfunctional more commonly now, fertility rates are dropping.

The known causes are many: chemicals/drugs, diseases like metabolic syndrome, autoimmune conditions like celiac disease or anti sperm antibodies, infections like mumps and sexually transmitted types, anatomic issues, alcohol abuse, and others.

The variables: chemicals and drugs are big changes in the last half century. Diet and metabolic diseases are vastly more prevalent now. Sedentary behavior is skyrocketing nationally. Mental stress is absolutely worse now. Most of the other listed causes have remained relatively static over this study period.

Thus, we must look at these and other changing variables for the headwaters of etiology. Why is it not surprising that chemicals, nutrition, lack of movement and stress are the main players here? Simple, they are the root of almost all of our disease changes over the last 50 years.

If you have a male child, you need to take this issue extremely seriously. I submit to you that I also fear that the antecedent triggers of low sperm counts are also likely a major route to neurobehavioral disorders of childhood as they occur in the womb and postnatally.

Teach your children to avoid all chemicals in as many forms as possible, eat healthily as we have discussed many times, limit mental stress, take medicinal drugs only when necessary, move often and stay lean.

See below for more details from a 2017 newsletter on chemicals.

Your grandchildren may depend on this,

Dr. M


Kelland Scientific American
Pourmasumi Int J of Reproductive Biomedicine
Levine Human Reproduction Update
Sermondade Human Reproduction Update
Bonde Human Reproduction Update
Fetters Atlantic