Men are becoming more and more sterile

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The decline in births in the western industrialized nations is not only due to social upheavals: more and more men are becoming sterile and thus unable to conceive. For this reason, couples have chosen the method of artificial insemination more often in the past.

More and more men are becoming less fertile in the western industrialized nations. For the sharp decline in births in Germany and other western countries, the focus is increasingly on the fertility of men. At the same time, it can be observed that more and more couples are using the possibility of artificial insemination.

Increasing poor quality of sperm in men
What is certain is that the decline in the birth rate has to do with social upheavals. For many people, professional development is becoming increasingly important. Children are often perceived as a disruptive factor. Other social innovations such as the further development of contraceptives (pill) have certainly also led to the decline. The increasing fertility of men is hardly ever discussed in the public context. As the independent foundation "European Science Foundation (ESF)" reports, the increasing poor quality of sperm in men is causing massive fertility problems. In the EU zone, there are 10.7 newborns for every 1000 citizens. The birth rate is falling sharply, especially in Germany, where the rate is 1000 inhabitants / 7.9 newborns.

"The possibilities of artificial insemination are used more and more in Europe," said the reproductive doctor and andrologist Prof. Stefan Schlatt from the University of Münster. "Current studies indicate that the reasons for this may also be to be found in the declining fertility of men."

Over the past 50 years, there has been a sharp drop in sperm density in western countries, especially among young men. "In most cases, this does not have a direct impact on reproduction," said Schlatt. "But there are also more men whose sperm density is below a critical level, making fertilization less likely." The proportion of the hormone testosterone decreased in men. According to the results of the study, serious diseases such as testicular cancer and prenatal developmental disorders of the testes and penis are becoming increasingly common. All of these factors affect male fertility and lower the birth rate.

Background of increasing infertility
The researchers are still struggling to find the background. You suspect the reasons above all for the unhealthy lifestyle. "Individual relationships are known. Lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking certainly contribute to the problems, and we also have clues at the genetic level," said one of the study authors. The relationship has not yet been really explored. "In any case, it has been shown that those affected more often suffer from type 2 diabetes and overweight." This is where science should start again.

However, other researchers go one step further. The focus is on the industrial plasticizer substance "bisphenol-A". The chemical substance is mainly used to manufacture baby bottles, pacifiers, food packaging, thermal paper, plastic bottles and many other items. A study by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has shown that bisphenol-A has a major impact on the quality of male sperm. Men who had high BPA concentrations were found to have a 23 percent lower semen concentration and around 10 percent more DNA damage. So far, the EU has been unable to ban the harmful substance. It remains unclear why the European food safety authority EFSA continues to classify the chemical as "harmless" for the consumer. Countries like France or Canada have begun to ban bisphenol-A at least for children's products. (sb, Oct 21, 2010)

Also read:
Bisphenol-A damages sperm
Study: Girls getting sexually mature earlier
Hormone-active chemicals threaten health

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