By: Bill Waters
Published: Jun 12, 2021

Sperm Count and Quality Is Not Declining

Recent data unveils that sperm count is not declining. For 20 years, scientists blamed environmental pollutants for the decline in sperm quality. This might not be the case at all.

About 20 years ago a team of Danish researchers made claims that there was a 50 percent decline in sperm counts worldwide between 1938 and 1991.

Despite objections that the documentation from the research was weak and later contradictory findings from other research teams, it became widely cited in scientific journals and in the media.

The original group was collecting semen samples from healthy 18-year-old men (5,000 in total) who were being compulsorily examined for fitness for service in the Danish military. Fifteen years of data from those semen collections has just been published in a commentary in the journal Epidemiology.

The data conflicts with the previous study and showed no no evidence of plummeting sperm counts.

Yet, although there‚Äôs no evidence that sperm counts have been falling in recent years, the proportion of young men with low counts is “surprisingly large,” note the authors of Epidemiology commentary.

“It is somehow hard to think it has always been so. If sperm quality were truly higher in the past, what are possible reasons? If a decline had been produced by environmental exposures, these exposures may have reached a plateau, or may have exceeded a threshold level about which higher exposures produce no further effects.”


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