One of the biggest health problems facing today’s society is the difficulty for many couples to conceive children. It is increasingly common for children to have to be conceived through assisted reproduction techniques, such as the micro-injection of a sperm from the father into the maternal oocyte. This is due to a worrying decline in sperm quality.
The data is alarming; In the 1970s, the average man’s semen contained about 101 million sperm per milliliter. Most of them were spermatozoa with normal morphology and motility. However, today, the semen of an average man contains only 49 million spermatozoa per milliliter, and many of them have reduced motility and often abnormal morphology.
Motility, in the case of sperm, refers to its ability to swim through the woman’s cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes to reach the egg. It is essential for fertilization, so the decrease in motility and the number of sperm is a matter of great concern for experts.
Men’s sperm deterioration continues to increase year after year
If this trend continues, by the year 2050, the vast majority of men will not have viable sperm in their semen. This decline is occurring at a worrying rate and is happening all over the world. Worst of all, the rate at which sperm deterioration is occurring continues to increase year after year.
In the 1990s, the number of sperm in semen decreased at a rate of 1.16% per year. However, in recent years, it has fallen at a rate of 2.65%, more than twice as fast. Sperm loss is occurring all over the world, which is very alarming.
By the year 2050, the vast majority of couples who want to have a child will have to undergo assisted reproductive treatment. One of the main problems, that have caused this decline in seminal quality, is the uncontrolled release of millions of tons of various toxic substances into the environment throughout the 20th century.
Another factor that contributes to decreased sperm quality is age. As men age, the amount of sperm in their semen tends to decrease and its quality can also be affected. This is because sperm accumulate genetic mutations with age, which can affect their ability to fertilize an egg. In general, decreased sperm quality is a multifactorial and complex problem involving a combination of environmental and lifestyle factors, as well as genetic factors.
Assisted reproduction is an increasingly accessible and effective option for those who need extra help to conceive. However, it is important that we continue to investigate and better understand the factors that contribute to decreased sperm quality so that we can take steps to prevent and address it more effectively in the future.