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Sperm counts in men have more than halved since the 1970s, a trend that experts warn could “threaten the survival of mankind.”
Decreased sperm count “threatens human survival,” researchers warn today.
The number has more than halved since the 1970s.
And the decline has only accelerated since the turn of the century, according to global analysis.
Scientists tracking data from more than 50 countries said “we have a serious problem.” in the environment.
International researchers tracked the number and concentration of sperm in semen samples around the world between 1973 and 2018 by reviewing the results of earlier studies.
The study involved men from 53 countries, including the UK, USA and Australia .
A study published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.
The analysis, which provides a first look at trends in South America, Asia and Africa, also includes additional data from seven years since 2011 to 2018.
The data included measures of sperm count and concentration in semen samples.
Count refers to the total number of sperm in the sample, while concentration refers to the number of reproductive cells in the semen volume.
The results showed that that the average sperm count fell by 51.6 percent from 1973 to 2018 among men from all continents.
Sperm concentration has fallen by 2.64 percent a year since 2000, faster than the previous drop 1.16 percent a year since 1972.
Trends previously seen in men from North America, Europe and Australia have become faster, the team noted.
They have also been seen in men from South America, Asia and Africa, suggesting a future demographic decline may not be limited to the global North.
Study lead author Prof. Hagai Levin, an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said: “Our findings are a canary in a coal mine. We are facing a serious problem that, if left unaddressed, could threaten the survival of humanity.”
We urgently call for global action to create healthier habitats for all species and reduce the impacts and behaviors that threaten our reproductive health.
'Overall, we are seeing a significant decline in sperm count worldwide – more than 50 percent in the last 46 years, and this decline has accelerated in recent years'.
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