“The important impact of men’s reproductive health on a couple’s fertility is often overlooked,” said Professor Niels Skakkebæk from the University of Copenhagen, who co-authored a report on male infertility rates. “Women postponing motherhood have reduced fertility, and we now see that poor sperm may be making it even harder to conceive. While poor sperm may be part of the reason more couples are using IVF (in vitro fertilization), it may also be making those therapies less successful.”
The bad news is male fertility rates and infertility treatments are making it harder to get pregnant. The good news is there are things you can do to increase sperm counts! To learn how to get pregnant, read Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility.
And, here’s a summary of this report on male fertility rates…
Male Infertility Rates Increasing – Why Sperm Counts Are Low
A new report from the European Science Foundation (ESF) states that decreased male fertility may be making it even harder for couples to conceive a baby. This is contributing to low birth rates in many countries.
More than 10% of couples worldwide are infertile. This is leading to a growing demand for assisted reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilization – for which Robert G. Edwards won the Nobel Prize in Medicine last month.
Sperm counts have dropped significantly in the last 50 years in developed countries.
Today, at least one in five 18-25 year old men in Europe have semen quality in subfertile range. Testosterone levels are also declining. This is mirrored by increasing testicular cancer in most industrialized countries and more developmental abnormalities such as undescended testes. All of these factors are linked to decreased male fertility rates, and may have common origins during fetal development.
“The important impact of men’s reproductive health on a couple’s fertility is often overlooked,” said Professor Niels Skakkebæk from the University of Copenhagen, who co-authored the report. “Women postponing motherhood have reduced fertility, and we now see that poor sperm may be making it even harder to conceive. While poor sperm may be part of the reason more couples are using IVF (in vitro fertilization) it may also be making those therapies less successful.”
Why is Male Fertility and Sperm Health Decreasing?
“That this decrease in male reproductive health has occurred in just a few decades suggests it’s caused by environmental and lifestyle factors rather than genetics,” says Skakkebæk. “So it is preventable if we correctly identify the causes [of male infertility].”
In men, some lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking can decrease sperm count, but the effects are small. In contrast, if women smoke heavily in pregnancy, a much larger fall in sperm count is likely in their sons when they grow up.
Testosterone levels naturally drop as men age, which may predispose men to cardiovascular and metabolic health problems that pose large financial and healthcare issues for national governments. Low sperm counts and low testosterone levels are both associated with increased risk of early death for men.
If you’re concerned about your sperm count, you may find FertilAid for Men helpful.
What do you think? I welcome your thoughts on male infertility rates and low sperm counts below.
To increase male fertility, read 4 Ways to Make Sperm Healthy and Improve Male Fertility.
Source: European Science Foundation (2010, November 29). Male reproductive problems may add to falling fertility rates.