Deterioration in male fertility: new data

Not long ago I wrote about a study, conducted by French scientists, that showed a constant decline in sperm quality of French men. Let me remind you: for 17 years, until 2005, there was a significant and prolonged decline in sperm concentration of 32.2% at a constant rate of 1.9% per year. For men aged of 35, the concentration of sperm (or the number of sperm in the semen volume) has decreased from an average 73.6 million sperm per ml in 1989 to 49.9 million sperm per ml in 2005. In addition, a significant drop in the number of normally formed sperm (33.4%) in the same period has been noted.

There is some new data. Specialists from the University of Murcia (Spain) compared the semen samples of 273 men aged from 18 to 23 years, collected in the period of 2001 – 2002, with the indices of 215 students of the same age 10 years later.


And it turned out that the quality of the "material" has fallen by 38%. In particular, the average concentration of sperm has decreased from 72 million / ml to 52 million / ml.

Of course, this study is far less representative than the previous one (there was a comparative analysis of sperm of more than 26 000 French). However, again with the French study, and WHO data, the reliability of the Spanish investigation gives no rise to doubt.

The saddest thing is that there is not too much left to the level of 40 million sperm per 1 ml, which many fertility specialists call threshold in terms of male fertility. In other words, if the concentration of sperm falls below this level, the possibility of conceiving naturally becomes doubtful. So, according to the Spanish research, if the trend continues, the critical level will be passed in 4 years, according to the French study - in 7 years. What's next? IVF + ICSI as the only hope for survival? Frankly, I feel ill at ease when I imagine this hypothetical future...