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Sperm Count Is Decreasing In Developing Countries

August 10th, 2017

Sperm Count Is Decreasing In Developing Countries

Sperm Count Is Decreasing In Developing Countries

According to a new multi-center research, investigators suggested that the sperm count is gradually decreasing in men based of data collected from males in 4 developed countries, i.e. Australia, Europe, America, and New Zealand. It has been observed that sperm count has gone down by over 50% in the past 4 decades. Scientists discovered that there will be several long-term implications of this finding; for example, it is anticipated that declining sperm count will have a negative effect on the male fertility and overall physical and sexual health.

What Is Causing This Decline In Sperm Count?

Unfortunately, the rate with which sperm concentration is declining in semen samples has been consistently increasing since early 1900s. The lead author of this study, Hagai Levine insisted that researchers and scientists should come together to identify what is causing this decline in the sperm concentration. It is imperative to understand that multiple risk factors can lead to impaired fertility and low sperm concentration in semen; such as:

  • Toxic or long-term exposure to certain pesticides or chemicals that may irreversibly damage the DNA of sperms and may also have long term estrogenic effect on the gonads
  • Obesity is associated with peripheral conversion of testosterone to estrogen in the adipose tissues
  • Chronic history of active or passive smoking
  • Poorly managed stress

Besides toxins and environmental factors, several biological factors can also lead to a more gradual decline in the concentration of sperms; such as physiological aging, overall health of men and genetic factors.

Quality of Life and Male Infertility image

Are There Any Regional Factors Involved?

Levine and his team conducted an extensive analysis by studying about 185 researches during 1973 to 2011 and observed that western male population suffered a major dip in the qualitative and quantitative parameters of sperms as compared to developing countries such as Asian, African and South American countries. Among Australian, European, North American, and New Zealand men;

  • There has been a 54.2% decline in the concentration of sperms (calculated by accessing the concentration of sperms in the ejaculate)
  • About 59.3% decline has been observed in the total sperm count (obtained by multiplying the ejaculate volume by theconcentration of sperms)

It is noteworthy that most research and analytical studies took place in developed countries, which may explain the disparity in the results between developed countries and developing nations.

Total Low Fertility Rates And Male Reproductive Ailments

Several other studies have also emphasized that European nations and developed countries like Japan are currently experiencing low TFR (or low total fertility rates). On the contrary, most Hispanic as well as African countries have considerably higher TFRs.

Low TFRs is associated with a variety of male reproductive issues such as:

  • Testicular cancer
  • Hypospadias (or underdeveloped genitalia)
  • Poor semen quality
  • Infertility or childlessness
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Disorders of sex development
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Cryptorchidism (or undescended testicles)
  • Changed sex ratio

It is highly recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle and seek doctor’s advice at regular intervals to maintain the natural quality of life.


  • Skakkebaek, N. E., Rajpert-De Meyts, E., Louis, G. M. B., Toppari, J., Andersson, A. M., Eisenberg, M. L., … & Ziebe, S. (2016). Male reproductive disorders and fertility trends: influences of environment and genetic susceptibility. Physiological reviews, 96(1), 55-97.
  • Mehrpour, O., Karrari, P., Zamani, N., Tsatsakis, A. M., & Abdollahi, M. (2014). Occupational exposure to pesticides and consequences on male semen and fertility: a review. Toxicology letters, 230(2), 146-156.

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