The BBC reports that sperm quality continues to drop. Specifically, researchers "found a 52.4% decline in sperm concentration, and a 59.3% decline in total sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand." While alarmist publications tout this as a 60% drop, the decline is accelerating and the researchers are concerned that inaction may lead to species extinction despite the effect not being observed in regions with high machismo, such as South America, Asia and Africa.
The study "aggregates 185 studies between 1973 and 2011, one of the largest ever undertaken." It supposedly overcomes selection bias occurring from patients attending fertility (virility?) clinics and selection bias of null results not being published in journals (churnals?). My intuition is that insights can be gained from studying transsexualism. Practitioners claim patients increase at the rate of 15% per year (doubling every five years), over many decades and with no end in sight. This is akin to Moore's law, Kryder's law, Butters' law, Hendy's law, Rider's law, Carlson's law or any other exponential halving or doubling. So, it doesn't take a genius to understand that it will become an increasingly widespread issue.
Regardless, masculine medical problems are vastly under-represented. By some estimates, spending on male medical problems is about 1/4 of spending on female medical problems. For example, when a man seeks help for a legitimate medical issue, such as declining testosterone, a patient at the lower end of the "normal" range may be denied treatment even if he is constantly exhausted.
Well, take care of yourself. Eat properly. Drink properly. Rest properly. Stay active. And if healthy food and exercise won't fix accumulated problems, consider hormone replacement. You may also want to watch two films which seem to be mentioned with increasing frequency and seem to predict our era with some accuracy: Children Of Men and Colossus: The Forbin Project. Children Of Men is the second bleakest film I've ever seen and the film I've seen most during its initial cinema release. It explores the scenario of global infertility leading to economic collapse. In addition to a nexus of cast and crew, the seamless plot and astounding compositing, the film is a fantastic example of mise-en-scène which is best explained by example.
Anyhow, enjoy the films and get your medical problems addressed.
Disclosure: People in my family are affected by virility and hormone problems. I have a professional interest in film, media encoding and art education.
I'm shocked SHOCKED that cultures that regard masculinity as evil have men with lower testosterone and sperm counts. I'm equally shocked that more and more men would rather be treated like women! oh...why...oh...why...could...this...have...possibly...happened
So you believe that the current political- and cultural-trends in the west is already having an impact on evolution and the biological process? Masculinity-man see Feminist-woman and his spunk just decided to end it all and kill itself? That would indeed be shocking.
I would be slightly more concerned if it turned out that infertility was actually common and there wasn't new babies being born, and created, every hour and every day. I'm not saying there isn't any decrease in the sperm count but perhaps the old studies where bad? Perhaps we just got better in that regard. From the article it's apparently the concentration and count that is shrinking, perhaps the surviving sperm are just the uber-sperm and the weaker sperm is getting wiped out -- survival of the fittest and all. Then there is that whole issue of almost all these studies are being made in the western world so studies of or from other areas are sketchy at best.
... effect not being observed in regions with high machismo, such as South America, Asia and Africa
Could it be cultural? "Macho-man" doesn't go to puny doctor or take part in studies as often to check out his sperm count. He just snorts some more animal horn (or other mumbo-jumbo-cure there is for increased fertility) and then goes about his day.
Which is the cause and which is the effect?
Behavioral changes due to overpopulation in mice [pdx.edu]
When mice become over-populated instances of homosexuality increase and things like caring for the young decrease. The hypopthesis is that this is a population-control function.
Wouldn't be surprised if similar was happening to humans...
Although this study is too late for me, next time I will use the excuse "if you want to get pregnant we need to be having 60% more sex".
Forget xenoestrogen and phytoestrogen. Birth control pills are taken and peed out, and wastewater treatment plants were never intended to remove estrogen from the water supply.
As seen in frogs [newsweek.com] and otters. [huffingtonpost.com]
I'm thinking of using this as the premise for a TV show about a dystopian near-future where male fertility has fallen such that only one-in-five is capable of producing offspring. Each fertile male becomes the property of a leading family and is used in an intricate mating ceremony to get the leading female pregnant, with the leading male right in behind the fertile male and very deeply involved in the ceremony.
I know it sounds weird, but I'm sure the show will be a success.
You may be onto something Brother. I propose we start a Church. Instead of the steeple we should erect a sizable symbol of male fertility.
The men who are selected for this Holy Duty should be given names denoting their assigned female. Something like F-Gwen, F-Lisa...