Are worldwide sperm counts declining?

Fertile Battle
Are worldwide sperm counts declining?

VOLUME 116, ISSUE 6, P1457-1463


Niels Jørgensen, M.D., Ph.D., Dolores J. Lamb, Ph.D., Hagai Levine, M.D., M.P.H., Alexander W. Pastuszak, M.D., Ph.D., John T. Sigalos, M.D., Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., Michael L. Eisenberg, M.D. 


PRO: Worldwide sperm counts are declining

CON: Worldwide sperm counts are not declining

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Go to the profile of Pandiyan  Natarajan
9 months ago

There is no evidence for Worldwide decline of spermatozoa concentration or count.

The scare story that spermatozoa count is declining started in 1990s. 32 years later we still don't have any evidence to indicate that spermatozoa concentration and count are decreasing.

Semen Analysis and the various Spermatozoa parameters still remain the gold standard for evaluating a man's fertility. Imprecise it is indeed with poor positive predictive and poor negative predictive value. It is also not clear which of the 3 parameters, concentration, motility and morphology is more important. Despite 6 WHO manuals there is no clear definition of a ? Normal Semen Sample. All we have is reference values based on a single semen analysis in a select population. 

We still don't have a clear definition of Oligozoospermia.(1)  Besides Semen Analysis, Spermatozoa concentration & count show  variation in the same individual from time to time. There is a huge inter observer variation. Semen Analysis is a numbers game.(2) 

Therefore it would be premature and an unnecessary scare story to declare that Spermatozoa count is falling. There certainly is no clear Evidence for that. I am in the field for he last 45 years and I find no evidence for this in my personal observation.

1) Definition of Oligozoospermia- Pratima T , Pandiyan N. Chettinad Health City Medical Journal 2013; 2(4): 108-109.

2) Semen Analysis - A Numbers Game. Pandiyan N Chettinad Health City Medical Journal 2012; 1(1): 2 - 3.