P30 Center Member, Dr. Shanna Swan, was interviewed by the Washington Post regarding the decline of male reproductive health.
The quality of sperm from men in North America, Europe and Australia has declined dramatically over the past 40 years, with a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration, according to a study published in the Human Reproduction Update. The research — the largest and most comprehensive look at the topic, involving data from 185 studies and 42,000 men around the world between 1973 and 2011 — appears to confirm fears that male reproductive health may be declining. The state of male fertility has been one of the most hotly debated subjects in medical science in recent years. While a number of previous studies found that sperm counts and quality have been falling, some dismissed or criticized the studies over factors such as the age of the men included, the size of the study, bias in counting systems or other aspects of the methodologies.
Dr. Shanna H. Swan, one of the authors of the new study published in the Human Reproduction Update, said that the new meta-analysis is so broad and comprehensive, involving all the relevant research published in English, that she hoped it would put some of the uncertainty to rest. Then the scientific community could move forward into putting its resources into figuring out the why of what is going on, she said. “It shows the decline is strong and that the decline is continuing,” Swan said in an interview. To read the full article click here.