In 2012, French scientists confirmed it once more: the male semen concentration continues to fall by 2% per year1. They compared the main characteristics of fertile sperm: the mobility, the quantity and morphology (appearance) of sperm in the ejaculate between 1989 and 2005.
How much male fertility has fallen
What is causing the historic lows in male fertility
What you can do to improve your fertility
The data set could hardly be more robust: 26,609 spermiograms collected by 126 French fertility clinics were used.
2% per years does not sound a lot. The human psyche tends to underestimate the impact of such small changes over time.
If you look at the resulting impact over longer periods of time, however, one realises how large the overall impact actually becomes.
Upon closer inspection of the data the main reason why so many couples struggle to conceive becomes clearer.
What are the causes for this reduction in fertility?
It is hard to isolate specific causes for such a phenomenon observed over such a long time.
The fact that sperm counts have fallen across a short timescale (50–70 years […]) suggests that the causes must be lifestyle and environmental, rather than genetic – Richard M Sharpe
The fertility specialists therefore agree on the following two reasons for the ongoing frop in male fertility:
The ongoing trend towards diets with too many simple carbohydrates, too little vitamins, anti-oxidants and amino acids.
Oxidative stress caused by pollution of the environment by various toxins, hormones and heavy metals, especially aluminium2. Aluminium sulphate is almost ubiquitous and can be found in our water to improve clarity, all foods that need raising agents or additives, such as cakes and biscuits, children’s sweets as enhanced food colouring, tea, cocoa and malt drinks, in some wines and fizzy drinks and in most processed foods. It is in cosmetics, sunscreens and antiperspirants, as well as being used as a buffering agent in medications like aspirin and antacids. It is even used in vaccines.3
Both above points are directly related to the diet. It is therefore highly recommended to evaluate one’s diet critically.
The Importance of Anti-Oxidants
It is essential that various anti-oxidants are supplied in ample quantities on an ongoing basis enableing the body to dispose of the pollutants.
When attempting to conceive processed and artificial foods should be avoided and whole, untreated and unprocessed foods prioritised. A complete alteration of the diet is often unfeasable and amino acids, anti-oxidants / vitamins and minerals could be consumed via individual or dedicated male fertility supplements instead.
Whilst a varied diet is essential, dedicated male fertility supplements are capable of delivering the key nutrients in the required quantities more effectively and efficiently than any regular diet.
They can supply both the critical building blocks for the sperm cells themselves as well as the antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress. Neutralising free radicals is essential for the production of healthy sperm.
A supplement is recommended for two groups of men:
Firstly, men who are currently planning for a child. Secondly, men who have already been diagnosed with suboptimal semen analysis readings.
Both groups of men will be able to benefit from supplementing the correct micronutrients to ensure they can deliver high-quality semen.
Male fertility supplements are
- able to increase sperm motility by up to 23%
- able to increase ejaculate volume by up to 33%
- able to increase sperm count by up to 215%4
- Relatively inexpensive
- Effective after three months
- Without side effects
The market is relatively saturated with a large number of male fertility supplements. Significantly, all products differ in terms of nutrient formula and price. Menfertility.org has carefully compiled and compared 10 of them in terms of value for money and nutrients provides.
- “Decline in semen concentration and morphology in a sample of 26 609 men close to general population between 1989 and 2005 in France. http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/12/02/humrep.des415.abstract” ↩
- “J.P. Klein, M. Mold, L. Mery, M. Cottier, C. Exley, Aluminium content of human semen: implications for semen quality, Reproductive Toxicology, DOI: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.10.001,” ↩
- “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1490425” ↩
- “Imhof, Martin et al., “Improvement of sperm quality after micronutritient supplementation”, e-SPEN, the European e-Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Epub published ahead of print.” ↩