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French study showing decline in sperm count sparks fertility concerns

posted 6 Dec 2012, 04:01 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Dec 2012, 04:02 ]

Next Media - A study by French scientists has discovered that the average sperm count of Frenchmen is dropping dramatically. Semen concentrations declined 32 percent from an average of 73.6 million sperm per milliliter in 1989 to 49.9 million per milliliter in 2005, lower than the World Health Organization’s suggested threshold of 55 million, which is thought to lengthen the time to conceive.

 Research has suggested endocrine disruptors may be behind the decline. Endochrine disruptors affect the body’s hormonal system by mimicking or blocking normal hormones in the body. They can can be found in in many widely-used plastic products, including plastic bottles, feeding bottles, food can liners, detergents, pesticides and cosmetics. Scientists have warned that exposure to endocrine disruptors can result in human health effects, including lowered fertility.

Reuters reported that, “over the 16-year period, the researchers found there was about a 2 percent annual decrease in the number of sperm in one millilitre of the average man's semen.

The researchers also found that there was an increase in the number of abnormally shaped sperm over the study period, which can also influence fertility.

Part of that finding, however, can be explained by scientists getting better at recognising misshapen swimmers, but not all of it.”


The Telegraph