Looming Crisis: Alarming Study Shows Significant Decline in Sperm Counts Globally

Sperm Cell Illustration

Alarming study shows a significant decline in sperm counts around the world. Sperm count is not only an indicator of human fertility, but it is also an indicator of men’s health.

Scientists have published the first meta-analysis to demonstrate declining sperm counts among men from South and Central America, Asia, and Africa. The international team was led by Professor Hagai Levine of Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Braun School of Public Health, with Prof. Shanna Swan at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, New York, along with researchers in Denmark, Brazil, Spain, Israel, and the USA.

Hebrew University Professor Hagai Levine. Credit: Avi Hayon_Hadassah

Alarmingly, this study also shows that the decline in sperm counts in North America, Europe, and Australia—reported by this team in 2017—has continued and even accelerated in the 21st century. Sperm count is not just an indicator of human fertility either, it is also an indicator of men’s health overall. In fact, low levels are associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, testicular cancer, and a decreased lifespan. The decline reflects a global crisis related to our modern environment and lifestyle, with broad implications for the survival of the human species, according to the authors.

This latest analysis, with data from 53 countries, was published in the journal Human Reproduction Update on November 15. It includes an additional seven years of data collection (2011-2018) and focuses on sperm count trends among men in regions not reviewed previously, specifically South America, Asia, and Africa. The data shows, for the first time, that men in those regions share the significant decline in total sperm counts (TSC) and sperm concentration (SC) seen previously in North America, Europe, and Australia. Furthermore, this study shows an accelerated post-2000 decline in TSC and SC globally. As Levine summarized these results, “Overall, we’re seeing a significant worldwide decline in sperm counts of over 50% in the past 46 years, a decline that has accelerated in recent years.”

Icahn School of Medicine’s Professor Shanna Swan. Credit: Axel Dupeux

While the current study did not examine the causes of sperm count declines, Levine pointed to recent research indicating that disturbances in the development of the reproductive tract during fetal life are linked to lifetime impairment of fertility and other markers of reproductive dysfunction. Additionally, Levine explained that “lifestyle choices and chemicals in the environment are adversely affecting this fetal development.”

Levine cautioned that time is running out. “Our findings serve as a canary in a coal mine. We have a serious problem on our hands that, if not mitigated, could threaten mankind’s survival. We urgently call for global action to promote healthier environments for all species and reduce exposures and behaviors that threaten our reproductive health.”

Swan stressed that low sperm counts do not only affect men’s fertility, but have serious ramifications for men’s health more generally, and are linked with other adverse trends, termed together as testicular dysgenesis syndrome.

“The troubling declines in men’s sperm concentration and total sperm counts at over 1% each year as reported in our paper are consistent with adverse trends in other men’s health outcomes, such as testicular cancer, hormonal disruption, and genital birth defects, as well as declines in female reproductive health. This clearly cannot continue unchecked.”

Reference: “Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries” by Hagai Levine, Niels Jørgensen, Anderson Martino-Andrade, Jaime Mendiola, Dan Weksler-Derri, Maya Jolles, Rachel Pinotti and Shanna H Swan, 15 November 2022, Human Reproduction Update.
DOI: 10.1093/humupd/dmac035


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  • Geoengineering and chemtrails bear fruit. Their target is to reduce the useless eaters and preserve the finite resources of the planet for them the 'elites'. Time to wake up and take action people.

  • Muli-factoral? Need to know more about genetics, genes and telomeres, nutrition, environment and interaction of spirituality & science?

  • 1. What percentage of men has a sperm count done regularly? Probably enough to show that men are more likely to have access to such tests these days, and would likely only test if a problem is suspected anyway.
    2. In the last few years more and more "men" are actually females identifying as such, and would likely have pretty low sperm count anyway.
    3. The kids of today are handled with soft gloves and are seldom actually taught to "grow a pair"... Which aligns with the reported results.

    It's all natural selection I tell you.

  • What I find most alarming after seventeen years of writing thousands of professional others, beginning with the US FDA (with replies) about allergies, added MSG, chronic disease and obesity in October of 2005 (obviously, now, in-vain) of my lay findings of practically harmless individual brief and very-very mild allergy reactions aggravated (or not) with toxic FDA approved food additives (namely soy and 'cultured-free' MSG; others) to become chronic and deadly dangerous (long-term, months to decades, highly individual) and updating as possible, my lay findings are still not recognized, researched and/or included in other research as true allergies and FDA approved food poisoning. Such is the failed and failing nature of higher education applied to so-called "modern medicine," just modern day versions of dark-ages 'blood letting and potions.'

  • Why does this rather good science website attract such a bunch of kooks, as evidenced by the paranoid and conspiracy-addled posts above?

    • In case you are including me among your 'paranoid and conspiracy-addled posts above' kooks, Chris, I'm old enough to remember when even fast food was good food, before it was subject to FDA approved food poisoning (e.g., soy and added 'cultured-free' MSG, minimally), long before I became mysteriously, seriously ill in 1981 and first learned of my previously undiagnosed food/additive allergies, at age thirty-seven and of the toxicity of added MSG at age fifty-six. Consistent with "…an indicator of men’s health overall." in the article I now estimate about 4,000 unsuspecting Americans will die prematurely again today of undiagnosed allergies, FDA approved food poisoning and/or related/resultant medical errors, too-often blamed on nearly harmless to healthy individuals, Covid-19. Good website, yes; good governance/science; no, not even after seventeen years of myself and some 20,000 others writing the FDA about the toxicity of added MSG by October of 2005. On the other hand, I'm kind of looking forward to the day the science proves out and the surviving few 'kooks' rule.

    • 6th mass extinction CLIMATE CHANGE. it's ok you will come back humans don't die this is why we are called human beings we will always be.

  • If no logical explanation for this phenomenon, I would question
    What about any studies on covid vaccines, after which this issue is starting??

  • Maybe this isn't a bad thing. It means fewer children born just in time for the environmental apocalypse we've unleashed upon ourselves.

    Our society is toxic to human life but those in power, and those who think they're in power, double down on all the things shown to be harmful to the human psyche and being. They do so bc they believe that other people are trying to take something away from them. They're like the kids in Willie Wonka. It's absurd and awful to watch, especially when you know that the #1 cause of social collapse is an elite power class who do not feel the consequences of their decisions. We buy plastic throw away crap, kids in Brazilian favelas live in the waste. We use plastic bags once, a sea turtle swallows it and dies. We spray fertilizers on our dead overworked soil, 100sq miles of ocean becomes a dead zone. We break unions, people are peeing in jars to make production. It's all connected to entitlement attitudes of superiority and it's all deadly to them and ultimately all of us but try to say so, try to do something about it and you get weird nonsense about how it's not communal decisions but individual choices (CR's comment) or that it's the fault of some minority group (like the 1-2% of the population that identifies as trans in Harry's comment) or that we just don't beat our kids enough into "growing a pair" (doubling down on the abusive parenting that got us here, again Harry), or wasting time and energy on already disproven things like soy, chemtrails, skinny jeans, vaccines, GMO, etc (the rest of the above). Anything, anything at all, except to admit that hierarchical supremacy (eg white over all others, male over female, Christian over all others) is and has been an incredible evil meant to justify more evil, federalism inevitably leads to fascism and authoritarianism, and capitalism is a failure. Bc to admit that might mean having to give up some of those lovely, lovely privileges and comforts. Selfish gits.

    So, maybe not a bad thing at all.

    • Yes, it may not be a "looming" or "alarming crisis." Instead, it may be a natural reaction to population-density stress, avoiding the alternative of 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.' With the world population recently passing the 8 billion mark, I don't think that we are in imminent danger of becoming extinct for more than another century.

    • Mostly in agreement with you, Christina, the one point I totally disagree with you is the "…environmental apocalypse we’ve unleashed upon ourselves." More specifically, early on religious missionaries were sent around the globe to promote having more children, quite successfully. In particular about the dietary and medical factors I write about, a late 18th Century elitist decided for us that 'treating' illnesses was more profitable than 'curing' them. Along with the industrial revolution came the elite's never ending demand for more (and cheaper) labor. On the 'up' side, by about 1980 'ZPG' (Zero Population Growth) was achieved in the US but the elite (who never pay their fair share in taxes) were not satisfied with a declining work force and in the early 1990s our dutiful US government obliged them by increasing the legal immigration limit to about a million a year, concurrent with millions of illegal immigrants invading the US. So, when you blame "we" for the population explosion related environmental apocalypse I already perceived and opposed by 1980, I'd appreciate it if you'd count me out of it. And, if I seem a little hypocritical about saving lives in the face of there already being about 4 1/2 billion too many of us on this little lifeboat in the sky (with limited resources, depleted soils, mountains of trash and elitist sponsored inflation) I simply believe in culling the herd through education, family planning and birth control, which probably should commence with revising the tax codes for the elitists to begin paying commensurately for what needs to be done to undo as much of the harm they've already done as possible, and continue by ensuring there are enough well trained, well paid healthcare workers to replace a declining population of posterity to care for the elderly.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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