Researchers have discovered a global, alarming trend which seems to be accelerating in recent decades. According to CNN.com, sperm count has fallen over 50% since the 1970s to 2018. On average, the decline seems to be accelerating from 1% decline annually in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s to over 2.5% in recent years.
Smithsonian Magazine reported in 2022 that over the last 50 years, “average human sperm concentrations dropped by 51.6 percent, and total sperm counts dropped by 62.3%.”
Furthermore, many experts are calling these findings - and its implications - a “major public health problem.” What does this mean for male reproductive, sexual and general health?
From a fertility perspective, this drop in sperm concentration and potency - paired with many couples’ decisions to start trying to conceive later in life - may lead to plunging fertility rates across the globe.
Many experts are also calling this decline in sperm count, “the canary in the coalmine” for male, whole-body health. There are links between falling sperm count and various types of cancer, including testicular cancer. Dr. Eisenberg, director of male reproductive medicine at Stanford, also identified a connection between fertility/sperm count and later problems with cardiovascular disease, immune conditions, higher mortality rates and increased hospital visits.
On the other hand, other researchers caution that finding definitive proof of the decline is difficult since sperm levels are hard to capture. Some experts believe that we have simply gotten better at capturing a more accurate sperm count than in decades prior with advancements in technology.
Something all clinicians can agree on, is that sperm count - as well as other metrics of male sexual health - should be monitored, studied and explored further. For men - and those who love them - better understanding over their whole body (including their sexual wellness) should be tracked.
New devices to the market are even bringing male sexual health tracking to the privacy of your home including the FirmTech Tech Ring which tracks nocturnal erection activity in addition to duration and firmness of erections. Data can be collected privately (during sleep and even sexual activity) and can be shared with Urologists or physicians to see how lifestyle, medication and other choices are affecting the wearer’s physical, and sexual, health.