Sadly, infertility is affecting enough couples today to warrant a line of American Greetings cards for empathetic friends to send. Between 1973 and 2011, male sperm count has dropped 50-60% throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, based on a Hebrew University of Jerusalem study that compiled and analyzed data from almost 43,000 men (Qz.com, 28 July 2017).
It has been reported that declining sperm counts parallel with an increase in testicular cancer and other male-reproductive defects. Both these findings point out a decline men’s overall reproductive health. A reproductive epidemiologist Shanna Swan, who took part in the study stated that this is a wakeup call. “I think that we should take this very seriously” (NPR.org, 31 July 2017).
So, what is the culprit of this staggering decline? Unfortunately, there is presently no concrete answer. Environmental change is likely a huge part of the problem. We know that male fetuses are especially vulnerable to environmental pollutants, according to a separate study, it should be noted that fetal abnormalities can carry over into adulthood.
Without much clarity on the matter and so many environmental influences, it is easy to feel a sense of helplessness. There are some things men can do to help boost their reproductive health. Quitting smoking and staying away from fertility-disruptive agents such as Bisphenol A (BPA) are both highly encouraged. Consuming a healthy diet obviously, helps everything and several studies have shown a link between obesity and a low sperm count.