Fair warning gentlemen – if you’re thinking of becoming a dad, the time for the deed is now. Procrastinating on impregnating your partner may not work out to your advantage. According to new research, the sperm count of men in Western countries has been declining at an alarming rate, and shows no signs of “leveling off.” In other words, your fertility is dwindling as we speak.
This research study is not a one-off. It’s a meta-analysis of 185 studies that looked at semen samples from 42,935 men from 50 countries during the 1973 to 2011 period.
We’ll spare you the methodology here. Suffice it to say that this in-depth research determined a 59.3 percent drop in sperm in males from western countries, over the 40-year period.
The research study did not go into the causes for the declining sperm count, but the authors cite existing research that links in-utero exposure to cigarette smoke, alcohol and chemicals to male offspring with poor fertility. So now, you can blame your mother for yet something else! Many studies show that if a mother smokes while pregnant, her son’s sperm count and quality is inferior.
But it’s not just your mama’s fault. Dr. Hagai Levine, the lead researcher on the study, points to our bad lifestyle habits as a major cause for the waning of those reproductive swimmers. Junk food/poor diet. Stress. Sedentary habits. And of course, smoking. All within our own powers to change.
But another cause Dr. Levine also points to is the role of phthalates (chemicals used to make plastics more flexible) and other man-made chemicals in the decline of sperm count. Time to call on government agencies to better regulate – or preferably – restrict the manufacture of these chemicals. The future of western human reproduction is at stake.