No evidence for declining sperm quality

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Is sperm quality and quantity on the decline? That s the focus of a recent article which investigates the issue by citing a number of studies over the years that either support or refute the notion that male fertility is decreasing. Though some of the evidence is anecdotal such as reports from Israeli sperm banks on increases in low quality donations other research that analyzed eight years worth of sperm-donor data in Boston found statistically significant declines in semen volume, sperm count, and motility.

Yet in a study from the International Journal of General Medicine published last March, Raywat Deonandan, an assistant professor and epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, points out how many semen-quality studies are often biased because they rely on samples taken from affluent men in more urban areas. Due to such selection bias, findings cannot be extrapolated to the general population.

Even an article appearing in The New York Times in June of last year reported on a 15-year long study of Danish men that found no decline in sperm counts. That, however, hasn t stopped speculation that toxic chemicals, including pesticides, or cellphone radiation are causing adverse changes in semen quality.

Such suggestions, however, are just part of the anti-chemical activist mythology, which includes declining sperm quality as one of the alleged toxic effects of environmental chemicals, explains ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross. There is no scientific reason to believe that sperm quality or quantity are decreasing. And when even The Times goes against these activist claims, you know it has to be true.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava also points out a 2008 study by Columbia s Dr. Harry Fisch, which found that, upon reviewing numerous studies alleging sperm count declines, in fact the totality of the evidence failed to support that concern.