The Decline in Male Fertility – Is the decline in male fertility a “crisis” or not enough data?
Well this is refreshing. Usually, women get blamed for the decline of baby production…. from secular conservatives and from Christian groups, who assume all single women are whoring around (some definitely are, though not all), and are getting abortions left and right.
Or, it’s assumed by conservatives that all us single adult ladies have intentionally pushed marriage (and possible motherhood) aside to pursue a career (not true for many of us post age 35 Christian women, though who knows about the younger generation).
So, we women get blamed for the lack of bay-bees (babies).
Conservatives such as Pat Robertson feel the way evangelical Christianity can beat secularism and Muslims is by out-breeding the competition.
That Christian women don’t get married for the first time these days until age 35, 40, 45 or whenever, raises a red flag with some of the bay-bee and marriage obsessed Christians, because a woman’s fertility is said to decline over time (never mind more and more articles are saying women are becoming first time mothers in their 40s – I have links to articles about that in older posts).
It’s just so darn nice to see the male gender get blamed for the lack of bay-bees, for a change… even though I am tired of the topic overall. If it’s going to be brought up, I want to see the males equally blamed.
- July 2013
Are today’s young men less fertile than their fathers were? It’s a controversy in the fertility field, with some experts raising the alarm over what some are calling a “sperm crisis” because they believe men’s sperm counts have been decreasing for a decade or more.
Experts here for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual conference last week debated the issue for an entire day.
One recent analysis found that in France, the sperm concentration of men decreased by nearly one-third between 1989 and 2005. Most but not all studies from several European nations with large databases and the ability to track health records have found that over the past 15 years or so, the counts of healthy men ages 18 to 25 have significantly decreased. This comes after a prominent study from the 1990s suggested that sperm count has decreased by half over the last half-century.
Many experts questioned the validity of those findings. There are huge variations in results by country and region. Certain areas, especially in the developing world, haven’t been studied at all. In the U.S., some historical data suggest a decrease in sperm count among American men, but no published recent data exist.
Understanding if men are producing less sperm has implications beyond male fertility and couples who want children. The same environmental factors that might harm reproduction may also impact other parts of the body. Sperm count has even been linked with life expectancy, independent of cause of death.
…Proponents say that exposure to pesticides, endocrine-disrupting chemicals like Bisphenol A and lifestyle habits like sitting for too long contribute to the proposed sperm crisis. And there is increasing evidence that sperm count, like other health conditions, may be influenced by what happens to people early in life, even in the womb.
…In general, men produce upward of 60 million sperm per milliliter of semen. As long as the count is roughly greater than 40 million per ml, men are considered fertile and have the same chance of getting their partners pregnant as someone who produces a higher count.
But below that threshold and particularly under about 20 million per ml, their ability to help conceive drops. It may take a couple longer than a year to conceive—a problem known as subfertility—or they may not succeed at all.
Not everyone in the field agrees a sperm crisis exists. [edit out comments by one guy who is critical of the studies]
…But coordinated studies across Northern Europe found that as many as 1 in 5 young men have sperm counts low enough to affect fertility, according to Richard Sharpe, a male reproductive health specialist at the University of Edinburgh.
…Accumulating evidence suggests that early life influences make a difference. Some researchers say that there is a vulnerable period, perhaps between eight and 14 weeks of gestation, in which influences are irreversible. One of the most robust links with decreased sperm count is maternal smoking during pregnancy.
…Some factors that impact sperm may be reversible. Others have found that how much belly fat men have, even those not overweight, is linked with testosterone levels in young men.
(Link): The Wall Street Journal: What’s That Ticking Sound? The Male Biological Clock – Men are also at the mercy of age when it comes to having kids
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