So what’s going on with sperm counts?
“Sperm health is declining, there’s no doubt about it. A recent publication revealed a dramatic reduction of over 59% in sperm count in the last four decades. In 1973, sperm count among western men was 99 million sperm per millimetre of semen; by 2011, it had shrunk to 47 million. Recent data suggests only one in four men has optimal semen quality. The decline shows no sign of levelling off.” – Dr Nauf AlBendar, founder of The Womb Effect
What’s the reason behind the decline?
“There are many. To name a few, pesticides, hormone-disrupting chemicals, pollutants, diet, mobile phones, stress, smoking, long-term exposure to a noisy environment and infections. One of the leading causes of fertility problems includes sperm disorders – this could be not having enough sperm, sperm not moving as fast as they should or sperm being the wrong shape. All three can also occur at the same time.” – Nauf
“Obesity, poor diet and a lack of exercise are key factors. Obesity and a poor diet increase oestrogen levels and insulin resistance, which directly reduces the production of testosterone, the male sex hormone. The western diet, meanwhile, is increasingly deficient in fruit and vegetables, which means sperm lack the nutrients they need to flourish. A lack of exercise – think sedentary office jobs – not only make us lazy but also warm our testicles and make testicular function sluggish. Exercise, on the other hand, boosts testosterone and blood flow and naturally helps the body stimulate sperm production. We also can’t ignore the role of stress – stress releases cortisol, which is a direct antagonist to testosterone, which decreases sexual function.” – Dr Jeff Foster, GP & founder of H3 Health