Several studies have reported a significant decline in sperm concentration and total sperm count among men from Western countries. Moreover, given recent findings that reduced sperm count is related to increased morbidity and mortality, the ongoing decline points to serious risks to male fertility and health. A recently-released video from The Economist outlines the problem.
Sperm count has previously been plausibly associated with environmental and lifestyle influences, including prenatal chemical exposure, adult pesticide exposure, smoking, stress and obesity. Therefore, sperm count may sensitively reflect the impact of the modern environment on male health across the lifespan and serve as a "canary in the coal mine" signalling broader risks to male health.
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