(WXYZ) – In what some in the medical community are calling an extremely serious public health crisis, the sperm count of Western men has dropped by more than half in the last fifty years — and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.
Why is this such big news? Well, for a few reasons. The first is obvious: men with lower sperm counts have a harder time conceiving. But the second reason might surprise you — and it’s a real cause for concern. That is, men with lower sperm counts tend to have higher mortality rates due to things like heart disease and even cancer.
Researchers believe the decline in sperm count has something to do with the hectic modern lifestyle. Likely, it’s things like obesity…poor nutrition…too much stress…lack of exercise…and exposure to chemicals and pesticides that are driving this trend. But nobody’s pinpointed an exact reason. What they DO know is that between 1973 and 2011 total sperm count declined by 59 percent! That’s a lot.
For the men out there, I can give you the following guidelines:
1. Don’t smoke. It’s been proven that smoking lowers your sperm count.
2. Limit exposure to toxic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, painting materials, lead, or other heavy metals.
3. Don’t drink too much alcohol. This can lower testosterone, leading to decreased sperm production.
4. Find a way to de-stress, through something like yoga or meditation. Stress is bad for almost everything in your body, including your sperm.
The last thing I would say is that although this seems like it’s only a MALE problem, WOMEN have a big role to play as well. Because it all starts in the womb. Mothers who smoke cause their infant sons to be born with lower sperm counts. And that’s regardless of whether the son himself smokes or not later on in life. So this is an issue that both men and women alike need to pay attention to.
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