Epidemiologist Warns Of Falling Sperm Levels In Men

Dr. Stacy Tyree | Last Updated : March 2, 2021

According to a prominent epidemiologist, humans face survival threats not only from the coronavirus pandemic but also from the number of falling sperms in men, as per the claims made in his book.

Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist working at the Icahn school of medicine in New York, has around 4 decades of experience in the field. He said that the newly adopted lifestyle and the exposure to chemicals had affected reproductive health to the extent that many people will not be able to reproduce in the normal way in the near future.

Epidemiologist Warns Of Falling Sperm Levels In Men

A meta-analysis reveals that men in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe have decreased levels of sperm counts, amounting to a decline of more than  59% between 1973 and 2011. With this rate, by 2045, half the men in these countries will show zero sperm count. 

Epidemiologist Warns Of Falling Sperm Levels In Men

In his book titled “Count Down: How are Modern World is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race,” Swan claimed that the persuasive chemicals in the environment are interfering with hormones in our bodies. This results in adverse reproductive health outcomes both in women and men. 

The endocrine-disrupting chemicals that affect the hormones are water-soluble that are flushed out of our bodies like phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA). Many others are “forever chemicals,” such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)  that are not degraded. 

These chemicals find a way to the human body through food, water, air and even skin. These are present in everything like toys, wall paints, nail paints, hair sprays, perfumes, medical devices, soaps, plastics and much more. 

The chemicals disrupt the body functioning in many ways. Phthalates can trick the body to think it already has enough testosterone. The body then stops releasing the hormone. This will lead to infertility or low sperm count in that person.

Dr. Patt Hunt, who is working as a geneticist in the Washington State University School, is researching the effects of chemical exposure on male and female fertility. An accident in his lab in 1998 had led him to follow this research. 

According to Dr. Hunt, there is no doubt that the sperm count has indeed fallen among the community. But, now, more and more people are convinced that the major culprit behind this is exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Some scientists who have previously criticized such a relation between chemicals and human fertility due to lack of evidence are now agreeing to this point. 

Many scientists like Allen Percy, a Professor of andrology at the Britain’s University of Sheffield, are against low sperm counts due to these chemicals. She said that though such chemical exposure affects fetal development, she does not buy that it has anything to do with the declining sperm count.

She said that extraordinary claims like this one should be supported by extraordinary evidence, which is not in this case. So she simply refuses to accept it.

Former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, Linda Birnbaum, said that Dr. Swan’s meta-analysis in 2017 was impressive and resulted in increasing the span of the study in animals and young men worldwide.

Birnbaum said that multiple studies by different groups at different locations have said that sperm count is decreasing in males. Birnbaum added that it is difficult to answer what is causing this. Still, the endocrine-disrupting chemicals could be one of the many reasons that are behind this reproductive health crisis. Not a single cause is responsible for declining sperm counts in males. 

Dr. Swan said that one should consider the point of recognizing the risks that are coming to us.

Dr. Stacy Tyree

Dr. Stacy tyree is an American surgeon and author. She specializes in vascular surgery and bariatric surgery. She is also known for helping morbidly obese people to lose weight. Dr. Stacy tyree owns Doctor of Medicine degree and completed a Rotating Surgical internship at St. Johns Hospital. She has written several scholars on obesity.

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